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“Long COVID” can affect many parts of the body and mind, doctors say

LONDON (Reuters) – Continuing illness after COVID-19 infection, sometimes called “long COVID,” may not be a single syndrome, but may be up to four, causing a train of symptoms affecting all parts of the body and mind, doctors said. Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Color scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (red) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), also known as a new coronavirus, isolated from a patient sample. Image taken at the NIAID Institute for Integrated Research (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH / Distribution through REUTERS.

In an initial report on long-term COVID-1

9, the British National Institutes of Health (NIHR) said one common topic among ongoing COVID patients – some of whom are seven or more months into their illness – is that symptoms appear in one physiological area, such as the heart or lungs, only to subside and then reappear in a different area.

“This review highlights the detrimental physical and psychological impact that ongoing COVID has on the lives of many people,” said Dr. Elaine Maxwell, who is leading the report.

Many thousands of people around the world have contacted social media platforms and online forums to share their experiences of the ongoing symptoms of COVID-19. Some are called “long carriers”, while others have called their condition “long COVID”.

According to the UK-based LongCovidSOS patient group, data from King’s College London’s symptom-monitoring application developed in London showed that 10% of patients with COVID-19 remained ill after three weeks and up to 5% could continue to suffer from for months.

Maxwell, who presented the findings of the Life with COVID report in an online media briefing, said health services were already struggling “to manage these new and changing patterns of symptoms and problems.”

She and her co-authors called on patients and doctors to record and monitor symptoms so that health researchers can learn more about the condition and how to alleviate it as quickly as possible.

“Despite the uncertainty, people need help now,” she said. “We need to gather more data.”

For this initial report, Maxwell’s team conducted a focus group with 14 members of a Facebook group called Long COVID.

Their testimony suggests that continued COVID may be cyclical, Maxwell said, with symptoms varying in severity and moving around the body, including the respiratory system, brain, cardiovascular system and heart, kidneys, intestines, liver and skin.

“There are powerful stories that the continuing symptoms of COVID are experienced by people of all ages and people of all backgrounds,” the report said.

Maxwell said the urgent priority is to establish a working diagnosis recognized by health services, employers and government agencies to help patients receive support.

“Although this is a new disease and we are learning more about its impact …, services will need to be better equipped to support people with ongoing COVID, as emerging evidence shows that there are significant psychological and social impacts, which will have long-term consequences, “the report said.

Report by Kate Keland, edited by Mark Heinrich

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