Lingering effects of a COVID infection: Post COVID Syndrome

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gleem
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Summary:

Months after recovering from a COVID infection not requiring hospitalization persons develop debilitating conditions.
It is becoming apparent that the COVID pandemic may be casusing more harm than originally thought. Months after recovering from noncritical infections from COVID people are developing medical conditions that are greatly affecting their lives. Symptoms include tremors, vertigo, double vision, loss of memory, reduced ability to think (Covid brain fog), heavy limbs, loss of stamina/strength, and headaches. These symptoms cannot be ascribed to any observable medical conditions. An autopsy has been the only definitive way of determining the effects of the infection so far.

It has been well known that the virus causes macroscopic blood clotting in acute patients but microscopic clotting is also found. Many patients succumb to an overreaction of the immune system resulting in what is known as a cytokine storm. Because of this, some believe that the immune systems may continue to work even after the virus has been controlled. Mt Sinai hospital in New York started a program for post-infection care of patients who had a serious infection and now have extended it to those experiencing the post COVID syndrome. CBS's 60 Minutes program had a spot on it this past Sunday. Dr. Fauci has also brought this to the countries attention and noted that 20% to 30% of mildly infected persons are showing symptoms. The affected people are known as "Long Haulers". A good discussion is found HERE.

With 12 million people who have shown symptoms of the infection so far, this could result in another serious medical care problem if the symptoms do not resolve in a reasonable time. Considering the laissez-faire attitude of much of the population to the pandemic the effect of the pandemic may linger for much longer than anticipated. The current long haulers are most likely those who have debilitating symptoms. Some may function for part of the day as one of the physicians in the Mt Sinai program but who becomes almost useless after work from severe headaches. How many of these are there?
 
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gleem
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It needs to be emphasized that even young people with mild symptoms from the infection are suffering eight months after the initial recovery with continuing severe problems. Many think that because the infection can be mild that they need not be too concerned if they are young and strong.
 
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Tom.G
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As @gleem noted above:
Summary:: Months after recovering from a COVID infection not requiring hospitalization persons develop debilitating conditions.

A good discussion is found HERE.
(https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-tragedy-of-the-post-covid-long-haulers-2020101521173)
Reading the article, I was struck by the symptoms similiar to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which I had for about 10 years following a bout of mononucleosis. The article then noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also noted the similarity.

About 5 years in, I started realizing that the disease progress had many of the characteristics of an infectious agent.

At the 10 year mark of slow progression, I had a bout of Infectious Colitis that had me in the hospital for a week. Of course I was pumped full of antibiotics, which rapidly cured that problem.

Roughly 10 days after returning home, I needed less of the ME/CFS medications to function. At six weeks the ME/CFS had disappeared... and still good now, 10 years later.

Of course back then ME/CFS was mostly considered a psychological problem and any suggestion otherwise was a symptom!

Current thinking on ME/CFS is that some gut bacteria are seen to invade the nervous system/brain reeking slow havoc.

Ah well, we all live-and-learn. Maybe the above will trigger some COVID-19 researcher to investigate.

Cheers,
Tom
 
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Ygggdrasil
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A few recent papers published surveying COVID-19 patients for long term symptoms:

6-month consequences of COVID-19 in patients discharged from hospital: a cohort study (peer reviewed study published in the Lancet)
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32656-8/fulltext

Characterizing Long COVID in an International Cohort: 7 Months of Symptoms and Their Impact (non-peer-reviewed preprint)
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.24.20248802v2

The Lancet study is probably more reliable as it took as its population the set of patients discharged from a particular hospital over a certain time period versus the medRxiv preprint that took its data from surveys distributed via online COVID-19 support groups and social media (likely subjecting responses to more self-selection biases). However, both show symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fatigue and cognitive symptoms) persisting for months after infection. The Lancet study also showed long lasting impaired lung function in those with severe COVID-19 infections.
 

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