A pandemic in itself?


Oin three COVID-19 survivors, the best known as COVID-19 long carriers, he suffered from a neurological or psychiatric disability six months after infection, a recent study of more than 200,000 post-COVID-19 patients was demonstrated.

The researchers examined 236,379 British patients diagnosed with COVID-19 over six months, analyzing the neurological and psychiatric complications during that time period. They compared these people with others who had experienced similar respiratory illnesses other than COVID-19.

They found a significant increase in several medical conditions of the COVID-19 group, including memory loss, nervous disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and insomnia. In addition, symptoms were present in all age groups and in asymptomatic patients, isolated in home quarantine and hospitalized.

The results of this study speak of the severity of the long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection. Numerous reports of brain fog, post-traumatic stress disorder, heart disease, lung disease and gastrointestinal disease have affected the media and baffled scientists over the past twelve months, wondering: What effect does COVID-19 have on the body? long after the acute symptoms have resolved?

I am a helper professor of neurology and neurosurgery and I can’t help but wonder what we’ve learned from past experience with other viruses. In particular, one thing stands out: the consequences of COVID-19 will be with us for quite some time.

Past virus outbreaks, such as the 1918 flu pandemic and the SARS epidemic of 2003, have provided examples of the challenges to be expected with COVID-19. And the long-term effects of other viral infections helps provide information.

Several other viruses, including the vast majority of those that cause upper and lower respiratory infections, have been shown to produce chronic symptoms such as anxiety, depression, memory problems, and fatigue. Experts believe that these symptoms are likely to occur long-term effects on the immune system. Viruses trick the body into producing a treatment-resistant persistent inflammatory response.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is one of these diseases. Researchers believe that this condition is the result of continuous activation of the immune system long after the initial infection has resolved.

Unlike other viral infections, study COVID-19 survivors reported persistent symptoms of more than six months, with no significant improvements over time. The abundance of psychiatric symptoms was also noticeable and probably attributable to both the infection and the pandemic-related experience.

These findings lead researchers to raise several mechanisms after acute COVID-19 infection that can lead to long-term COVID-19. With the known historical context of chronic symptoms after other viruses, doctors and researchers can envision the future of COVID-19 with the potential to create therapies to relieve patients ’persistent symptoms.

When does COVID-19 really end?

COVID-19 is currently known to be a disease that affects everyone organ systems, including the brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, and intestines.

There are several theories about the cause of persistent chronic symptoms. Hypotheses include direct damage to organs by the virus, continuous activation of the immune system after acute infection and persistent virus particles that find a safe harbor within the body.

To date, autopsy studies have not confirmed its presence either overabundance of COVID-19 particles in the brain, making immune theories the most likely cause of brain dysfunction.

Some patients recovered from COVID-19 detail a significant improvement or resolution of long-term symptoms after inoculation with the COVID-19 vaccine. Others report improvements after one short course of steroids. The most plausible explanation for the direct effects of long COVID-19 on the brain is due to its connections throughout the body and to the fact that COVID-19 is a disease of several organs.

These findings may point to a direct cause related to the immunity of the long COVID-19, although no real answers exist yet to define the real cause and duration of the disease.

The post-COVID-19 world

In February, the National Institutes of Health announced a new initiative to study the long COVID-19, now collectively defined as Postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2. The NIH created a $ 1.25 billion fund to study this new disease. The objectives of the study include the cause of long-term symptoms, the number of people affected by the disease, and the vulnerabilities that lead to long-term COVID-19.

In my view, public health officials should remain open and transparent when discussing the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19. Society as a whole needs the best possible information to understand its effects and solve the problem.

COVID-19 remains one of the largest socioeconomic problems in the world and will continue to be one of the first to recognize the true long-term impacts of the disease. Both the scientific and research communities should continue to be diligent in the fight long after acute infections disappear. It looks like the chronic effects of the disease will be with us for some time.

Chris Robinson, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of Florida

This article is republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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