Sick 105 days on average: Health insurance sees long long-Covid absenteeism

Even slight infections with the corona virus lead to long breaks for employees in Germany: According to data from the Techniker Krankenkasse, it is more than 100 days on average for long-Covid patients.

Sick 105 days on average: Health insurance sees long long-Covid absenteeism

Even slight infections with the corona virus lead to long breaks for employees in Germany: According to data from the Techniker Krankenkasse, it is more than 100 days on average for long-Covid patients. However, the spread of the disease is probably underreported.

According to an evaluation by Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), longer-lasting complaints after corona infections initially only account for a small proportion of absenteeism from work - but employees with long Covid are then absent for a long time: from employees who had a corona diagnosis with a PCR test in 2020 had received, in 2021 almost one percent was on sick leave with a diagnosis of Long Covid, as the health insurance company announced with reference to its own data. The sick notes lasted an average of 105 days.

Even slight corona infections could cause a comparatively large number of days of absence in the following year, as it was also said. According to the evaluation in 2021, after a mild course, those affected by long-Covid were on sick leave for an average of 90 days - for patients who were in the hospital for more than seven days because of Corona, an average of 168 days. For comparison: In general, every employed insured person was reported unfit for work for an average of 14.6 days in 2021.

TK boss Jens Baas said that the number of people affected by long-Covid appears relatively low according to the analysis. "But these are only the patients who have also been on sick leave with this specific diagnosis - we also assume that there is a high number of unreported cases."

Complaints that exist for more than four weeks after an infection are generally considered long covid - as post covid, if they restrict everyday life for more than twelve weeks afterwards. There is no uniform definition of the clinical picture. According to experts, many symptoms are included - from severe fatigue and cognitive impairment to pain in various parts of the body.

According to Techniker Krankenkasse, the basis for the evaluation was data from 4.3 million workers aged 15 to 64 who were continuously insured with the health insurance fund from 2019 to 2021. Accordingly, the data does not differentiate between long and post-Covid - since November 2020 there has only been one diagnostic code "post-COVID condition", which depicts both.

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