Long Covid Virus

New Research Examines ‘Long Covid’ Patients Experiencing Ongoing Coronavirus Symptoms

Scientists are defining “Long Covid” as the long-lasting impact of coronavirus infection for certain patients who continue to feel symptomatic weeks after being deemed negative; which may be affecting people in four different ways. People living with long-term Covid-19 symptoms could have a certain psychological element to the reasoning behind their lingering symptoms, however, new research suggests these patients need more medical support.

Most individuals who test positive for Covid-19 are told they’ll recover within two to three weeks depending on the severity of infection. Now, new reports from the National Institute for Health Research suggests that there could be thousands of US residents living with “ongoing Covid,” or what feels like a never ending battle with the coronavirus due to consistent symptoms. 

“The fluctuating and multi system symptoms need to be acknowledged. A common theme is that symptoms arise in one physiological system then abate only for symptoms to arise in a different system.”

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The report found recurring symptoms were impacting individuals breathing, brain function, heart/cardiovascular symptoms, livers, and skin. There are four different syndromes that researchers are using to categorize these Long Covid patients; permanent organ damage to the lungs and heart, post-intensive-care syndrome, post-viral fatigue syndrome, and general continuous Covid-19 symptoms. 

Some of the individuals who have experienced symptoms or any of the syndromes listed above have likely stayed in the hospital for longer than initially anticipated, while others may have never even been tested or diagnosed. That’s the difficulty with a virus that presents itself like the common cold and now seasonal allergies as well. Some individuals won’t even think twice about a runny nose and scratchy throat that lingers for weeks on end because it’s normal for this time of year. 

The report suggests that researchers are working on a way to diagnose “ongoing Covid” as a means of helping these patients access the proper support and resources they need to feel better faster. Dr. Elaine Maxwell is one of the report’s main authors who discussed how those who had been severely sick with Covid-19 would likely be impacted the most with ongoing Covid while individuals at a lower risk of death (younger individuals with no preexisting conditions) were less likely to continue to feel symptomatic. 

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“For some, this is related to their rehabilitation following a hospital admission – but others are reporting life-changing experiences that follow an initial infection that they managed at home, with symptoms becoming more severe over time.”

However, there are also instances appearing with individuals being hospitalized for ongoing Covid symptoms who have previously not tested positive for the virus, while individuals who had to be ventilated for several weeks are fully recovered and not experiencing any lingering symptoms. If anything, this is just another stark reminder that this virus is completely unpredictable, and we all should be taking it as seriously as possible. 

The other major concern that’s intensified with this research is the way that Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting certain parts of the population depending on socioeconomic status. Black and Asian communities alone have seen much higher death rates due to the coronavirus, and there are major concerns for all socially disadvantaged groups that don’t normally have access to proper medical facilities to be tested and treated. These individuals are also suffering for months on end with no recognition simply due to the fact that they can’t afford a standard hospital visit. 

In America alone, there have been close to 8 million confirmed positive cases of Covid-19, with about 217,000 deaths. Those statistics alone should be staggering enough to make you wear your mask, and stay home as much as you possibly can in the coming months until a proper drug treatment or vaccine is established.

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World Health Organization Says Asymptomatic Spread Of Covid-19 Is ‘Very Rare’

Asymptomatic coronavirus patients, or patients who contracted the Covid-19 virus without exhibiting any symptoms, are not likely to spread the virus as easily as someone who would be showing symptoms, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which made an official statement this past Monday. 

According to experts, we already knew that young people or adults who are considered to be very healthy were the least likely to show any symptoms if they were to contract Covid-19. Others may not develop symptoms until days after they get infected (up to 14 days). As we know, and have seen, this virus spreads very easily, and quickly, from person-to-person contact. Even if an individual wasn’t exhibiting symptoms, health experts still believed they could transfer the virus to another individual, because that infected person could just be in their 14 incubation period before symptoms actually appear.

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Now, WHO isn’t as convinced that individuals who don’t exhibit any symptoms can spread the virus; but it’s important to note that this does not mean you should start taking the pandemic any less seriously if you haven’t exhibited any Covid-19 symptoms within the past few months, if anything, it means the opposite. 

“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual. It’s very rare,”  Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said.

Again, WHO doesn’t want the world to start taking the severity of this virus any less seriously, instead, they made this announcement as a means to shift the focus of some health experts throughout the nation. They’re urging government officials to prioritize their responses on detecting and isolating infected people exhibiting clear Covid-19 symptoms, this way, experts can more easily start tracking anyone else who may have come in contact with the infected individual. 

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From that point forward, individuals who the symptomatic patient has come in contact with can become aware that they may also be infected, but asymptomatic, and while they may not be able to spread the virus as easily, they should self-quarantine for at least 14 days to ensure that no symptoms end up appearing. 

Van Kerkhove also emphasized that asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic spread of the virus has been the main cause of outbreaks in America’s nursing homes, however, as we know individuals in nursing homes are more likely to be infected simply due to their age and any pre-existing conditions they may have. 

“More research and data are needed to truly answer” the question of whether the coronavirus can spread widely through asymptomatic carriers. We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing. They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare,” Van Kerkhove added.

Again, this claim doesn’t change the severity of the pandemic, but instead will shift the way the US handles it moving forward. The findings themselves could suggest that in order to control the virus, we shift our focus onto those with symptoms, while continuing to emphasize that seemingly healthy individuals should also stay home. 

As new developments continue to be made everyday there’s one fact that’s held completely true; this virus is very unpredictable, so continue to listen to your health experts, wash your hands consistently, practice social distancing if you need to go out, and continue to remain in lockdown for as long as you can.