Monday, September 11

How to avoid long Covid

Unfortunately, some people who "recover" from COVID-19 continue to experience symptoms that negatively impact their ability to perform at work and at home. These symptoms include exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, and disturbed sleep. We refer to this disease as long-term COVID. It can happen to people who were very slightly affected, but it is more likely to develop in those who were sickest when they initially contracted the virus. At first, several people—including some medical professionals—thought that the patients might be lying about their illnesses or that the persistent disease was only the result of psychological issues.

After three years, it is evident that extended COVID affects tens of millions of people. According to estimates from senior Harvard economists, the United States may have to pay up to $3.7 trillion in future years for medical care for ailments related to COVID-19. The cost is probably going to be significantly higher if the millions of people who are currently afflicted with long COVID continue to suffer from the sickness for years or if long COVID turns into a chronic condition.

Additionally, it has become clear that the virus-related bodily problems are what are causing the illness. Two scientific reviews from 2023 that appeared in the journals Nature Reviews Microbiology and Frontiers in Medicine provide a thorough summary of the numerous underlying biological abnormalities connected with long-term COVID-19 infection. These abnormalities largely affect the brain, immune system, energy metabolism, heart, and lungs.

What safeguards can you take to avoid contracting a lengthy COVID? Immunisations guard against contracting COVID-19, and contracting long-term COVID without first contracting COVID-19 is not possible. However, vaccines are not infallible; some individuals who receive vaccinations nevertheless experience "breakthrough" COVID-19 infections. Thankfully, a 2022 study that was published in the journal Nature Communications indicates that vaccination lowers the incidence of long-term COVID.

People with COVID-19 who were prescribed the antiviral medications nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) and molnupiravir (Lagevrio) were found to be 25% to 50% less likely to develop long COVID than people of similar age and health who did not receive an antiviral, according to two 2023 observational studies published in the British Medical Journal and JAMA Internal Medicine. Antivirals must be proven to genuinely protect against lengthy COVID-19 infections through randomised trials, which are now being conducted.

Although long-term COVID is a real and significant issue, there seems to be some protection from contracting it through vaccinations and antiviral medications. In order to find the desperately needed answers for how to more accurately diagnose, treat, and eventually prevent lengthy COVID, the National Institutes of Health has allocated over $1 billion.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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