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Mon Jan 31, 2022, 12:27 PM

What causes long Covid? Scientists are zeroing in on the answer.

Even as the number of new Covid-19 cases in the US is dropping, hundreds of thousands of Americans are still testing positive every day. More than 28 million new cases have been reported since Omicron emerged in the US just two months ago, and the variant now drives 99.9 percent of cases, as of January 22, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thanks to vaccines, boosters, and increasingly available treatments, most people who get infected today won’t end up in the hospital or die. A big question, however, looms over the survivors: What about long Covid?

Long Covid is a condition that arises after acute infection and often includes shortness of breath, fatigue, and “brain fog” but can also involve a wide range of debilitating problems in the heart, brain, lungs, gut, and other organs. According to the World Health Organization’s working definition, long Covid usually occurs three months after symptomatic Covid-19 begins and lasts for at least two months. Sometimes, the symptoms just never go away after the initial infection. Occasionally, they appear months after recovery or after an asymptomatic case. This means that if you’ve recovered from Covid-19, you’re not necessarily in the clear.

No one knows exactly how many people have or had long Covid. Estimates so far are “wildly disparate” in part because researchers define the condition differently and because the people seeking care may only be a small portion of those affected, said Nahid Bhadelia, an associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine. Studies on the conservative end have found that 10 to 20 percent of Covid-19 survivors get long Covid, while others report 50 percent.

The teenage daughter of one of my other-daughters had "long Covid" including POTS that lasted almost a year. She seems to have finally come out of it though.

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Reply What causes long Covid? Scientists are zeroing in on the answer. (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Jan 2022 OP
Duppers Feb 2022 #1
Jilly_in_VA Feb 2022 #2
Duppers Feb 2022 #3
Jilly_in_VA Feb 2022 #4

Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 12:42 AM



I was told back in the late 70's it was all in my head, except for one well-respected Internist who believes me, my symptoms, and unusual markers.

I'm so glad the medical community recognizes that some of us do not completely recover for yrs and sometimes decades.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 01:26 PM

2. My brother is an MD--internal medicine

He's done a lot of reading up on that. He says it's definitely autoimmune.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 5, 2022, 06:07 AM

3. Does he also think that long Covid...

Is an autoimmune disease?

Personal history of my problem, for what it's worth:
Back in the '70's, my husband and I had the most severe flu that we had ever had; so bad in fact, that my mother drove 80 miles to bring us home with her. We were very sick for at least 3 wks; after that, recovery was very gradual, up to a point.

We continued having low-grade temps and I had terrible night sweats. We sought medical help from many experts, even at a medical school, yet they all were puzzled. One Doc told us that it looked like malaria to him.

My hubby finally recovered after some months but I didn't. The low-grade temps and terrible night sweats continued with me off and on for decades but intensified after the birth of my son when I was very stressed. I had to sleep on bath towels to keep from soaking the bed every night. Sadly, I've never recovered the stamina I used to have.

The famous CFS/ME expert Dr. Paul Cheney, whom I saw after the birth of my son, told me to stop nursing. Fact was that I simply stayed too exhausted to prepare bottles of milk, so I continued to nurse.

(Sadly, Dr Cheney died last year. It was from his obituary that I learned not only was he an internist, he also had a PhD in physics.)

The worst was being accused by uninformed, dumb people of having a psychosomatic disorder, as if elevated temperatures and horribly intense night sweats were psychosomatic.

If it is an autoimmune disease, my immune has been horribly dysfunctional and has badly affected my life. It's strange that my husband's illness would parallel mine but only for some months, not yrs.

Thanks for reading.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 5, 2022, 12:50 PM

4. That may be just a completely depleted immune system

I dunno. We haven't talked about that, having had more pressing problems recently with our other brother, who's had a severe autoimmune disorder of another kind, autoimmune limbic encephalitis. We thought we'd lost him, or at least the person he was, but amazingly, he's coming back. Still has some memory problems and occasionally searches for a word, but we are just wowed by his recovery. So discussions of other types of autoimmune disease, in which we both have a great interest, have kind of taken a back seat recently.

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