Years Into the Pandemic, Long COVID Patients Are Still Searching for Answers - CNET

Years Into the Pandemic, Long COVID Patients Are Still Searching for Answers - CNET

Years Into the Pandemic, Long COVID Patients Are Still Searching for Answers - CNET
Aug 13, 2022 2 mins, 39 secs

They live with long COVID or post-COVID conditions, umbrella terms for a variety of persisting health conditions and symptoms doctors don't fully understand. .

Like other chronic diseases, people with long COVID are having a difficult time being diagnosed or even believed by their health care providers. .

(By the end of February 2022, more than half of people in the US had it... and this was before the current BA.5 wave.) Estimates of how many people have or will have long COVID vary, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June found that nearly 1 in 5 people who have had COVID-19 developed long COVID. .

As people continue getting sick, long COVID will continue to be a public health problem even after COVID-19 eventually moves out of the pandemic phase.

He says there are a few ways COVID-19 can cause long COVID in people, and they may be broken down into different groups: People with severe-enough disease that they developed organ or cell damage; people who were hospitalized and have lingering health effects from that hospitalization; and people who weren't necessarily hospitalized (and may have had mild or no symptoms), but developed symptoms as a response to the acute phase of the virus.

The symptoms of the second group of people who have long COVID are similar to people hospitalized for other reasons in a phenomenon called post-intensive care syndrome.

(This may also explain the ongoing inflammation present in many long COVID patients, which might be a cause of brain fog.) Other theories include that, in some people, viral RNA might still be around infecting cells in the body and causing symptoms, or that COVID-19 causes tiny blood clots called microclots that can wreak havoc in different areas of the body. .

"This could explain why there are so many types of symptoms among people with long COVID as different mechanisms lead to different symptoms.".

"So there's really no 'tried and true' that we can point to that works for everyone." Because each case is so individual, the symptoms vary widely and there are different causes for symptoms, each case of long COVID will need to be treated differently.

Getting good care when you have symptoms of long COVID can be difficult, and typical blood tests or X-rays may return normal -- a frustrating feeling that people with chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic Lyme and other historically misunderstood and underdiagnosed conditions can attest to

To have the best luck finding specialized and more comprehensive care for long COVID, Sanghavi says long COVID clinics dedicated to treating the illness are "the place to be." Most major hospital systems will have one -- the Cleveland Clinic's reCOVer Clinic is just one example -- but you can ask your doctor (or any health care professional, if you don't have a primary care doctor) for a clinic or support group in your area

Survivor Corps, an organization for people with long COVID, has a map of post-COVID care centers so you can find one in your state

Groups like Survivor Corps, which also has a Facebook page, provide educational resources and community support to people with long COVID, which can be pivotal for patients newly diagnosed with a new and poorly understood condition

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