Long COVID patients spend their life savings on unproven “blood washing”

A plasma donor is connected to an apheresis machine, which separates plasma from blood as people donate blood plasma for medicines, at the Twickenham Donor Centre, southwest London on April 7, 2021.

Enlarge / A plasma donor is connected to an apheresis machine, which separates plasma from blood as people donate blood plasma for medicines, at the Twickenham Donor Centre, southwest London on April 7, 2021. (credit: Getty | Johnathan Brady)

The COVID-19 pandemic is considered by many experts to be a mass disabling event. Though most people fully recover from a battle with the highly infectious coronavirus, a significant chunk of patients develop lingering, sometimes debilitating symptoms—aka long COVID. Estimates of how many COVID patients endure long-term symptoms can vary considerably. But the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated that nearly one in five COVID patients report persistent symptoms. With hundreds of millions of COVID-19 cases reported around the globe, even the more modest estimates would still suggest that tens of millions have lasting effects.

Yet, as those patients seek effective care, researchers are still scrambling to define, understand, and treat this new phenomenon. Many patients have reported uphill battles for finding care and relief, including long waits at clinics and few treatment options when they see a care provider.

Cue the quacks. This situation is ripe for unscrupulous actors to step in and begin offering unproven products and treatments—likely at exorbitant prices. It’s a tried-and-true model: When modern medicine is not yet able to provide evidence-based treatment, quacks slither in to console the desperate, untreated patients. Amid their sympathetic platitudes, they rebuke modern medicine, scowl at callous physicians, and scoff at the slow pace and high price of clinical trials. With any ill-gotten trust they earn, these bad actors can peddle unproven treatments and false hope.

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#apheresis, #bmj, #covid-19, #long-covid, #science

New Yorkers Drop Their Covid Vigilance as a BA.5 Wave Hits

Once among the most vigilant, New Yorkers respond to a highly transmissible new wave of Covid cases with the most New York of attitudes.

#adams-eric-l, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #corona-queens-ny, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #deaths-fatalities, #disease-rates, #el-sadr-wafaa, #long-covid, #masks, #new-york-city, #northwell-health, #vaccination-and-immunization, #varma-jay-k, #weill-cornell-medical-college

What We Do — and, Frustratingly, Don’t — Know About Long Covid

Dr. Lekshmi Santhosh parses what research has illuminated about long Covid, and what questions remain.

#audio-neutral-informative, #chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #long-covid, #university-of-california-san-francisco

Long COVID 20-50% less likely after omicron than delta in vaccinated people

A long COVID patient sits with her daughter in her wheelchair while receiving a saline infusion at her Maryland home on Friday, May 27, 2022.

Enlarge / A long COVID patient sits with her daughter in her wheelchair while receiving a saline infusion at her Maryland home on Friday, May 27, 2022. (credit: Getty | The Washington Post)

Among adults vaccinated against COVID-19, the odds of developing long COVID amid the omicron wave were about 20 percent to 50 percent lower than during the delta period, with variability based on age and time since vaccination.

The finding comes from a case-control observational study published this week in The Lancet by researchers at Kings College London. The study found that about 4.5 percent of the omicron breakthrough cases resulted in long COVID, while 10.8 percent of delta breakthrough cases resulted in the long-term condition.

While the news may seem a little reassuring to those nursing a breakthrough omicron infection, it’s cold comfort for public health overall since the omicron coronavirus variant is much more transmissible than delta.

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#biology, #covid-19, #delta, #infectious-disease, #long-covid, #medicine, #omicron, #public-health, #sars-cov-2, #science, #variants

You Can Get Covid Again. Here’s What to Know About Reinfection.

Some reinfection questions, answered.

#content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #immune-system, #long-covid, #research, #vaccination-and-immunization

More than 1 in 5 COVID survivors may develop long COVID, CDC study suggests

A woman breathes into a tube while a health care worker looks on.

Enlarge / A long-COVID patient in Germany takes a pulmonary function test at Hufeland Clinic’s Center for Pneumology. (credit: Getty | picture alliance)

More than one in five adults in the US who have recovered from COVID-19 may end up developing a long-term condition linked to the viral infection, according to a study published this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The post-COVID conditions span heart, lung, kidney, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and mental health conditions. Overall, COVID survivors had nearly twice the risk of developing respiratory and lung conditions, including pulmonary embolisms, compared with uninfected controls. The most common post-COVID conditions were respiratory conditions and musculoskeletal pain.

Among COVID survivors, people ages 18 to 64 were more likely than older survivors to develop cardiac dysrhythmia and musculoskeletal pain. The risks for survivors 65 and up were greater for kidney failure, blood clots, cerebrovascular disease, muscle disorders, neurological conditions, and mental health conditions.

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#biology, #cdc, #covid-19, #infectious-disease, #long-covid, #medical-conditions, #medicine, #public-health, #science

1 in 5 Adult Covid Survivors in the U.S. May Develop Long Covid, Says CDC

Researchers identified lasting health problems in many different organ systems, including the heart, lungs and kidneys.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #long-covid

Long Covid Is Dangerous. The Fear of It Still Shouldn’t Rule Your Life.

Why a reasonable fear of chronic illness isn’t a case against normal living.

#chronic-condition-health, #connecticut, #long-covid, #lyme-disease

Long Covid Symptoms and Treatment: What We Know So Far

There is no universal definition of the complex condition, but clues about causes and potential treatments are beginning to emerge.

#chronic-condition-health, #clinical-trials, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #immune-system, #long-covid, #molnupiravir-drug, #paxlovid-drug, #research, #tests-medical, #vaccination-and-immunization

A Better Understanding of Long Covid

Who does the condition affect, and how widespread is it?

#audio-neutral-informative, #chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #long-covid

The Covid Pandemic Still Isn’t Over. So What Now?

Reinfection may become the norm even for people who have received several vaccine doses.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #debatable, #inventions-and-patents, #long-covid, #moderna-inc, #paxlovid-drug, #pfizer-inc

Over 75 Percent of Long Covid Patients Were Not Hospitalized for Initial Illness, Study Finds

Researchers analyzed the largest database of private insurance claims in the United States in the first four months after a diagnostic code for long Covid was created.

#chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #fair-health-inc, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #long-covid, #research, #united-states, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

How Often Can You Be Infected With the Coronavirus?

The spread of the Omicron variant has given scientists an unsettling answer: repeatedly, sometimes within months.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #disease-rates, #infections, #long-covid, #south-africa, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

‘Another Unequal Burden’: Working with Long Covid

Some research has shown that lingering Covid symptoms are more prevalent in people in their 30s and 40s — when workers are often in the prime of their careers. How will companies support employees with debilitating symptoms that can linger for months or even years after infection?

#coronavirus-return-to-office, #disabilities, #long-covid, #saturdaynewsletter

Can Covid Lead to Impotence?

Some studies find higher rates of erectile dysfunction among men recovering from the illness. But other factors related to the pandemic, like heightened anxiety, may also be to blame.

#anxiety-and-stress, #chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #depression-mental, #heart, #impotence, #long-covid, #penis, #sex, #your-feed-science

The Coronavirus Has Infected More Than Half of Americans, the C.D.C. Reports

But prior infection does not guarantee protection from the virus, officials said, and Americans should still get vaccinated and boosted.

#antibodies, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #disease-rates, #long-covid, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #walensky-rochelle, #your-feed-science

Do Vaccines Protect Against Long Covid?

Maybe, according to a growing number of studies, but there’s not yet a definitive answer.

#chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #long-covid, #research, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

Pushing ‘Long Covid’ Sufferers Too Hard Could Cause Them to Crash

The employment system inadequately serves people who can work but aren’t back to 100 percent.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #chronic-fatigue-syndrome, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #internal-sub-only-nl, #japan, #labor-and-jobs, #long-covid

Biden steps up federal efforts to address long COVID

A woman breathes into a tube while a health care worker looks on.

Enlarge / A long COVID patient in German takes a pulmonary function test at Hufeland Clinic’s Center for Pneumology. (credit: Getty | picture alliance)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday issued a memorandum directing the secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate and speed efforts to understand and treat long COVID, which is estimated to affect up to 23 million Americans.

In a White House press briefing Tuesday, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said the administration’s plan has three main goals: to improve care and support for long COVID patients, enhance education and outreach on long COVID and disability services, and step up research on causes and evidence-based treatments.

“Long COVID is real,” Becerra said, “and there’s still so much we don’t know about it. Millions of Americans may be struggling with lingering health effects, ranging from things that are easier to notice—like trouble breathing or irregular heartbeat—to less apparent, but potentially serious conditions related to the brain or mental health.”

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#becerra, #biden, #covid-19, #disability, #hhs, #long-covid, #research, #science

COVID raised heart risks 63% for a year after infection in study of 11M people

X-ray technicians take a chest X-ray of an unvaccinated COVID-19 patient on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) floor at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.

Enlarge / X-ray technicians take a chest X-ray of an unvaccinated COVID-19 patient on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) floor at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

A bout of COVID-19 can take a hefty toll on the heart and blood vessels; people who recover from the infection have substantially higher risks of developing any of 20 serious cardiovascular disorders in the year following their recovery. Those disorders include heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), and blood clots in the lungs.

Cardiovascular risks increase with the severity of an infection—that is, people who need intensive care for COVID-19 face the highest cardiovascular risks. But, overall, the pandemic virus appears to be indiscriminate, wreaking havoc on cardiovascular systems and increasing risks in all groups of patients, from those with mild disease, to the young, to those without underlying conditions or pre-existing cardiovascular diseases.

That’s all according to an open-access study involving more than 11 million veterans published this week in Nature Medicine by researchers at the VA St. Louis Health Care System and Washington University in St. Louis.

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#arrhythmia, #atrial-fibrillation, #cardiovascular, #covid-19, #heart, #heart-attack, #infectious-disease, #long-covid, #myocarditis, #public-health, #science, #stroke

New Research Hints at 4 Factors That May Increase Chances of Long Covid

If further study confirms the findings, they could lead to ways to prevent and treat the complex condition.

#cell-journal, #chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #long-covid, #research

To help people with long COVID, scientists need to define it

A white-haired woman in a wheelchair looks out a window.

Enlarge (credit: Morsa Images | Getty Images)

Almost from the beginning of the COVID pandemic, reports have accumulated of persistent, weird, disabling symptoms in survivors, a syndrome that’s come to be known as long COVID. The complex of fatigue, confusion, heart arrhythmias, gut disorders, and other problems—which may persist months after an infection begins or arise months after it seems to have concluded—has attracted attention and sympathy, intense patient activism, substantial research interest, and huge government investment. Last December, the US Congress voted in $1.15 billion to fund four years of research into long COVID, and this February, the US National Institutes of Health announced it would use those funds to create a nested set of large studies examining adult and child experiences of the syndrome.

What makes long COVID research urgent is also what makes it, at this point, so challenging. No one has yet been able to determine its cause, beyond the association that it occurs in people who have had COVID—or who think they did but weren’t able to get a test to prove it. This makes it difficult to understand and therefore to predict who is vulnerable: why one patient develops lasting symptoms and another does not.

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#covid-19, #healthcare, #long-covid, #sars-cov-2, #science

A year later, 45% of COVID patients in Wuhan still have symptoms

A person in full, white protective suit, blue face mask, and goggles, helps wheel a patient on a gurney into a hospital. His hand is outstretched as if he is signaling someone not to come near.

Enlarge / Medical staff transfer patients to Jin Yintan hospital on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. (credit: Getty )

Among thousands of the earliest survivors of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, nearly half had at least one persistent symptom a full year after being released from the hospital, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open.

The study followed up with 2,433 adult patients who had been hospitalized in one of two hospitals in Wuhan early on in the pandemic. Most had nonsevere cases, but a small number had severe COVID-19 and required intensive care. All of the patients were discharged between February 12 and April 10, 2020, and the study follow-up took place in March of 2021.

Overall, 45 percent of the patients reported at least one symptom in that one-year follow-up. The most common symptoms were fatigue, sweating, chest tightness, anxiety, and myalgia (muscle pain). Having a severe case of COVID-19 increased the likelihood of long-lingering symptoms; 54 percent of the 680 severe cases reported at least one symptom after a year. But persistent symptoms were also common among the nonsevere cases, with 41.5 percent of 1,752 nonsevere cases reporting at least one symptom a year later.

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#covid-19, #fatigue, #infectious-disaese, #long-covid, #public-health, #science, #symptoms, #wuhan

It took a year, but Gwyneth Paltrow figured out how to exploit the pandemic

It took a year, but Gwyneth Paltrow figured out how to exploit the pandemic

Enlarge

Gwyneth Paltrow is at it again. Here’s the scene for the perfect grift for our times:

Tens of millions of people around the country have fallen ill with COVID-19. Nearly half a million have died. Given chronic testing shortages, millions more have likely been infected and never diagnosed. Some of those infected will develop long-term effects, suffering lingering symptoms for weeks to months—or maybe longer.

Sometimes the symptoms appear to be direct extensions of the illness, such as lingering shortness of breath, cough, and/or chest pain. Other times, the symptoms may be more nondescript, such as fatigue and trouble concentrating, aka “brain fog.”

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#covid-19, #goop, #gwyneth, #long-covid, #science