Painful studies of long-term Covid-19 reveal how persistent it can be

Painful studies of long-term Covid-19 reveal how persistent it can be

While most people can recover from COVID-19 and return to their normal lives, many have symptoms for months after the initial infection, according to New research from Scotland.

A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications followed 33,281 people with recent COVID-19 infections, as well as a control group of 62,957 people who had never been infected, to determine which symptoms were most associated with prolonged COVID-19. Thus, vague symptoms that are often dismissed – such as “brain fog” or confusion – may be more clearly associated with prolonged covid.

The researchers found that among those infected with COVID-19, those who went on to show symptoms of COVID for a longer period of time were more likely to have persistent 24 out of 26 symptoms. Typically, people with prolonged covid have shortness of breath, palpitations, brain fog and chest pain. Compared with those who never had COVID-19, study participants with prolonged COVID symptoms were 3.5 times more likely to report shortness of breath.

The new findings underscore other research Also found: Those who had severe COVID-19 infection were more likely to have prolonged Covid symptoms. In addition, people with asymptomatic infections were less likely to have prolonged covid.

The study also found that vaccination may be associated with a lower risk of prolonged covid and was specifically associated with a reduced risk of developing seven of the 26 tracked symptoms.

But if you have a mild infection and are vaccinated, that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of developing long-term symptoms, he said Dr. Andrew ScammesAn internal medicine physician who treats patients in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Post-Covid Recovery Program.

Although participants in the Scottish study were less likely to deal with prolonged Covid if they were vaccinated and asymptomatic, it is still possible to develop the condition – and COVID-19 is an ever-changing and unpredictable virus.

“You might get vaccinated, you might get a mild infection [and] You can still end up having your life completely turned upside down by prolonged Covid,” said Schamms, who was not involved in the new study.

In a particularly grim finding, the study found that 6% of infected participants did not recover from COVID-19 at all, while 42% reported partial recovery six to 18 months after infection. Additionally, older adults, women and those with economic challenges were more likely to have prolonged Covid symptoms.

It is worth noting that 91% of study participants were white, so more research is needed to determine the exact impact on other communities.

At what point does covid-19 become protracted covid?

According to Scams, there are two definitions of prolonged covid. First, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that symptoms lasting a month or more may indicate prolonged Covid.

said, According to Schaums, it can take up to a month for many people to fully recover from COVID-19. Think of everyone you know (maybe including you) who had trouble exercising or had a persistent cough for weeks after an infection.

“I think a better definition for me is the World Health Organization, which marks three months for prolonged Covid”, he said. In the Scottish study, symptoms persisted for about a year and a half after infection.

Confusion has been reported in many people with prolonged covid.

Chanin Wardkhian via Getty Images

Confusion has been reported in many people with prolonged covid.

It is important to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19

While some factors may put you at risk of prolonged Covid, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

First, get vaccinated against COVID-19 and make sure you’re up to date on your boosters, too. a new one Bivalent shot The omicron variant is available targeting people aged 5 and above.

Next, if you get sick, make a treatment plan with your doctor. Treatments such as paxlovide and short-acting monoclonal antibodies are available for some people, Scams noted.

Additionally, if you are immunocompromised and may not mount a good response to the vaccine, you may be eligible to receive Evusheld, “a long-acting monoclonal antibody that gives you additional protection against COVID,” he said. (However, Suggests new information That Evusheld can not protect against all forms, and Antibody treatment Showed limited efficacy against Omicron. So it’s best to talk to your doctor about which method is best for you.)

Finally, don’t forget to take precautions like wearing a mask in crowded places.

“I think it’s going to be a hidden consequence of the pandemic,” Schaums said of the long covid.

“When we are seeing less immediate deaths and people [intensive care unit] … I think as long as Covid is spreading, we’re going to see these cases of prolonged Covid, which can be completely disabling.”

Experts are still learning about COVID-19. The information in this story was known or available as of publication, but guidance may change as scientists discover more about the virus. grace Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention For the most updated recommendations.

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