200 Long COVID Symptoms Could Last Years

Long COVID diagnosis challenges healthcare providers
from Pixabay
Austin (Precision Vaccinations News)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in late 2019, many people who contracted the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have been experiencing symptoms for extended periods, sometimes lasting for months or even years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 17% of Americans have experienced Long COVID.

Today, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a new report to clarify which symptoms are associated with a Long COVID diagnosis.

This report highlights over 200 symptoms associated with Long COVID and states that a positive COVID-19 test is not required to diagnose the condition.

The new report published on June 5, 2024, says that some health effects of Long COVID, including chronic fatigue and post-exertional malaise, cognitive impairment (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”), and autonomic dysfunction, can impair an individual’s ability to work or attend school for six months to two years or more after COVID-19 infection.

It can be difficult to assess these health effects clinically or to determine their severity and impact on a person’s ability to function.

They also may not be captured in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments, which is used as an initial screening step in determining disability.

A more significant number of or more severe Long COVID symptoms are correlated with decreased quality of life, physical functioning, and ability to work or perform in school.

“Diagnosing, measuring, and treating Long COVID is complicated. This disease, which has existed in humans for less than five years, can present differently from person to person and can either resolve within weeks or persist for months or years,” said Paul Volberding, professor emeritus in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.

“Our report seeks to offer a clear summary of what research has found so far about diagnosing Long COVID, and what the disease can mean for an individual’s ability to function in their daily lives," said Volberding in a press release.

The report estimates that people whose infection was sufficiently severe to necessitate hospitalization are 2 to 3 times more likely to experience Long COVID than those who were not hospitalized.

Among individuals who were hospitalized, those requiring life support in an intensive care unit may be twice as likely to experience Long COVID.

However, people with mild disease can also develop Long COVID, and given the much higher number of people with mild versus severe disease, they make up the majority of people with Long COVID.

As of June 2024, no curative treatment or vaccine for Long COVID exists.

Management of the condition is based on current knowledge about treating its symptoms and health effects. As with other complex chronic health conditions, medical treatment for Long COVID is focused on managing symptoms and optimizing quality of life and function.

Recovery from Long COVID varies among individuals, and the data on recovery trajectories are rapidly evolving.

Based on recent U.S. CDC discussions, upgraded COVID-19 vaccines may alleviate some Long COVID infections in 2024-2025.

Undertaken by the Committee on the Long-Term Health Effects Stemming from COVID-19 and Implications for the Social Security Administration, the study was sponsored by the U.S. Social Security Administration.

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