You’ve heard of the rise in COVID Deaths and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant, but what you may have overlooked is that there is one countless disease out there: it’s called Long-term COVID or PASC, a syndrome that can last for more than a year, maybe a lifetime, after a mild COVID infection. A groundbreaking one new study in The Lancet, released Thursday, identified “year-long results” in people who were still struggling. “Our data suggests that some patients may not fully recover after 1 year, who take longer to reach their pre-COVID-19 baseline,” the authors say. Read on for 7 common signs of an ongoing risk of COVID – and to ensure your health and the health of others, these aren’t to be missed Sure signs that you have “long” COVID and you may not even know it.
Life-devastating fatigue is the most commonly reported symptom among “long-distance drivers” or people with long COVID. “The cause and pathogenesis of fatigue and muscle weakness after COVID-19 are unclear, but based on previous evidence in SARS, impaired lung diffusion capacity and some extrapulmonary causes including viral myositis at first presentation, cytokine disorder, muscle wasting” and deconditioning or corticosteroid myopathy or a combination of these factors could have contributed to the disease, “suggest the study’s authors.
Given the pain associated with Long COVID, it’s no surprise that you may have mobility issues. What is more difficult for you to determine, however, is why you may have “post-exertion discomfort”. Then your body reacts to any kind of exertion – it can be sport, it can be housework – with a feeling of illness. “We saw some abnormalities in some white blood cells called monocytes,” said Dr. Bruce Patterson, a researcher for Long COVID. “We searched further and found the one protein in monocytes, 15 months after infection, with no virus. There is no RNA, there is no replication competence…. Still, the cells carried a COVID protein throughout the body and caused inflammation…. The cells are mobilized by movement and long-distance drivers have movement intolerance. “
Dr. Patterson described Long COVID as a vascular problem for many, and if you think about where your blood vessels are – basically everywhere! – can you imagine why people complain of pain. A common complaint is overwhelming headaches or migraines; some of them have even changed the chemistry of the brain and can be linked to anxiety and depression.
“The Delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky reporters at a briefing. “It’s one of the most contagious respiratory viruses we know and that I’ve seen in my 20-year career.” No wonder it can cause serious damage to your lungs. Some of this damage can last for more than a year.
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You may feel anxious after reading this story. But there is also a neurological reason why many long-distance riders feel anxious or depressed. In addition to being diagnosed with a chronic disease that could last a lifetime, your body is in “flight-or-flight” mode fighting a real or supposed virus (doctors don’t know yet). “The chronic or late-onset psychological symptoms after COVID-19 could be driven by a direct effect of a viral infection and could be explained by several hypotheses, including a deviant immune response, hyperactivation of the immune system or autoimmunity. In addition, indirect effects such as decreased social contact, loneliness, incomplete physical health recovery, and job loss could influence psychiatric symptoms, ”according to the study’s authors.
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“Covid-19 survivors have an increased risk of psychiatric consequences and emerging respiratory and cardiovascular diseases during convalescence,” say the study’s authors. COVID can put a lot of strain on the heart. “There are mutliple reasons for this. The cells in the heart have angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptors, which the coronavirus attaches to before it enters the cells. Heart damage can also be due to a high rate of inflammation in the body, the body’s immune system wards off the virus, the inflammatory process can damage some healthy tissues, including the heart, “says Johns Hopkins.
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More than 200 long-term COVID symptoms have been reported – from fainting to difficulty sleeping to hair loss. Ask yourself if your body feels “wrong” after your COVID infection – or a possible infection. Does it feel like something has been systematically changed? If so, inform a doctor. There isn’t a long cure for COVID, but doctors can try to manage your symptoms. It is even better to do everything possible to avoid getting COVID at all. Get vaccinated, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of them 35 places where you are most likely to contract COVID.