What Is Long COVID and What Do We Know About It?

June 29, 2021 13:35:46

The majority of individuals who contract the coronavirus suffer from the symptoms of coughing, fever and difficulty breathing before recovering in about two weeks. However, some individuals suffer persistent symptoms, informally referred to as long COVID. Researchers estimate that these individuals make up 10% to 30% of the population.

While researchers have been unable to find a definitive cause as to why some people suffer from long-term symptoms, they have proposed a few theories as well as growing information about the disease.

So, what can we deduce from long COVID?

Working definitions from researchers show that the term “long COVID” describes a situation where individuals experience persistent symptoms after contracting the coronavirus. The most common symptoms observed in sufferers of long COVID are sleep disturbance, muscle aches, brain fog, headaches, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue. However, researchers note that individuals may also experience symptoms such as an inability to interact with and work in society, depression, and loss of taste and smell.

Researchers aren’t sure what causes long COVID but theorize that an individual’s immune system may misfire when they’re infected. This is supported by the improvements observed in the symptoms of patients who suffer from long COVID after they’ve received the coronavirus vaccine. The researchers note that no final conclusions have been made and that it is challenging to determine the proportion of individuals who contract the coronavirus and end up with persistent symptoms.

However, a current study focused on coronavirus immunity is being conducted by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. That study has discovered that more than 30% of the participants are still experiencing symptoms of long COVID some 40 weeks after diagnosis. It should be noted that the study isn’t community based and was not developed to measure how common long COVID was in the wider population.

Additionally, data emerging from other sources cites different rates, with another study conducted in the UK finding a 30% rate and a separate study by the WHO noting that the rate is 10%. Researchers note that the proportion of individuals who are affected by the disease may also vary between different countries.

As there are no definitive clinical tests to determine whether an individual has the disease, treating it can be challenging. Clinicians observe that individuals suffering from mild symptoms may not need treatment, but information and validation may be useful. However, those suffering from persistent symptoms should seek clinical care, as it is essential that these severe symptoms get acknowledged so that they can be treated by a multidisciplinary medical team and allow patients to receive valuable support and assistance.

As superior Covid-19 diagnostics are brought to market by companies such as XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT), a time may come when long Covid is better understood by the medical community.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/XPHYF

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