What Do We Do About Millions of “Long Covid” Sufferers?

Mish

Long Covid is a condition wherein people continue to experience symptoms for longer than usual after initially contracting the virus.

Long Covid Symptoms

  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • joint pain
  • chest pain
  • brain fog, wherein they find it more difficult to think clearly and focus
  • depression
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • fever, which may come and go
  • heart palpitations, or a feeling of the heart pounding
  • problems with smell and taste
  • sleep issues
  • memory and concentration difficulties
  • anxiety
  • mood changes

Symptoms are from Medical News Today.

Although it is still unclear how many people have experienced long COVID, data from the COVID Symptom Study app suggest that 1 in 10 people with the illness experience symptoms for 3 weeks or longer.

Data from the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics found similar results, with roughly 1 in 10 respondents who tested positive for COVID-19 exhibiting symptoms lasting for a period of 12 weeks or longer.

One found that more than three-quarters of COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Wuhan, China, still had at least one symptom 6 months after their discharge from the hospital.

This is consistent with a 2020 study from Italy that found that of COVID-19 patients reported experiencing at least one symptom 2 months after their discharge from the hospital.

A 2020 Swiss study also notes that as many as 1 in 3 people with milder cases COVID-19 were still experiencing symptoms after 6 weeks.

This means that across the world, there may be more than 5 million cases of long COVID.

The official medical term for "Long Covid" is Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC.

Health Workers Report 'Long COVID' After Just Mild Illness

The University of Minnesota research center reports Health Workers Report 'Long COVID' After Just Mild Illness

Fifteen percent of healthcare workers at a Swedish hospital who recovered from mild COVID-19 at least 8 months before report at least one moderate to severe symptom disrupting their work, home, or social life, according to a research letter published yesterday in JAMA.

Of the 323 participants who were seropositive, or had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, indicating previous infection, 26% reported at least one moderate to severe symptom persisting for at least 2 months, compared with 9% of 1,072 seronegative participants (risk ratio [RR], 2.9). Similarly, 15% of seropositive and 3% of seronegative participants said they had a lingering symptom for 8 months or more (RR, 4.4).

Likewise, 15% of seropositive participants said their persistent symptoms disrupted their social life to a moderate to marked degree, compared with 6% of the seronegative group (RR, 2.5). And 12% of the seropositive group reported disruptions to their home life, versus 5% of the seronegative group (RR, 2.3).

In addition to reporting at least one symptom lasting 8 months or longer, 11% of seropositive participants indicated a moderate to marked disruption in any category of the Sheehan Disability Scale, compared with 2% of the seronegative group (RR, 4.5).

The most common symptoms lasting for at least 2 months in the seropositive group included fatigue, loss of smell or taste, and shortness of breath.

How Do You Prove You Are Sick?

For many sufferers of long Covid, proving they are sick is a big part of the battle.

Lyth Hishmeh kept feeling ill months after contracting coronavirus a year ago in March. He had chest pain and couldn't concentrate. At 26 years old, the former regular runner was fatigued and breathless, struggling to function properly. Yet medical professionals kept telling him he simply could not still be ill.

"They were telling me it's all in my head," he said. For Hishmeh who lives in London and many sufferers of long Covid, proving they are sick has become a big part of trying to get better.

Another Londoner, Monique Jackson, has lost count of the number of times her pain was described as 'just anxiety.' 

In the UK alone, almost 700,000 people reported having symptoms for at least three months after getting infected with Covid-19, according to a survey done by the UK Office for National Statistics in March. A majority of the 700,000 said their illness was limiting their day-to-day activities and for almost 70,000, the symptoms have lasted for more than a year.

"The scale is enormous," said Dr. Clare Rayner, a retired occupational health physician and herself a long Covid patient. 

"We have an enormous amount of people who have been off sick for a year, they are young people, mainly they are of working age, most seem to have been completely healthy before and suddenly they cannot work," she said.

Not Just Like the Flu

Covid is not just like the flu. Nor is it no worse than the flu. 

As of today, there are over 575,000 US deaths. That total does not include excess deaths.

Estimates are millions of people globally have some symptoms of Long Covid. 

And about 10% of the Long Covid sufferers are not able to function enough to work.

Mish

Comments (93)
No. 1-27
PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Given the vast majority of anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers voted for Trump, I fully expect this group to become the biggest hit. It will take years but we will get there. Ironically, they will then demand medicaid/medicare/social security take care of them because they are sick making them the biggest socialsists in the world. Just wait and watch....

oh and there wont be enough caregivers so they will demand immigrants come in to take care of them to complete the final irony and hypocracy.

Jojo
Jojo

"As of today, there are over 575,000 US deaths"

Which is less than .20% of the total population. A mere blip of little concern, especially given that the vast majority were very old people with multiple comorbidities already on their last legs and/or overweight (their problem, not societies). And the likelihood is that the death total will reduce to near zero by next year.

Why didn't anyone get similarly excited about heart attack victims in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, etc.? After all, 600k people die of heart attacks EACH AND EVERY SINGLE YEAR in the USA. And then there are the various cancers that kill another 600k, again EACH AND EVERY YEAR.

Jojo
Jojo

"What Do We Do About Millions of “Long Covid” Sufferers?"

How about setup internment camps where they can all live together, complaining to each other? And they can be studied all in one place. Or maybe we should give them say, $1 million apiece for being genetically unlucky? Since we are throwing money at everybody and everything even peripherally related to Covid these days.

Sechel
Sechel

So much we still don't know about covid19. One of our building workers us still dealing with the aftermath months later. Best solution is not to contract it. Seems like a salient point except politicians fight against passports or mandatory vaccination and too many in our society are afraid of vaccination and won't wear a mask. In Florida business is dumbfounded over DeSantis' position.

What to do about those who can't work? Fund research and allow disability if appropriate I guess.

The real solution is to prevent contraction. We need to get vaccinated. And masks and social distancing need to be tolerated a bit longer

RonJ
RonJ

A number of those sound like Covid lockdown symptoms.

Deedee43
Deedee43

What do we do? More studies like the Healthcare worker study you cited, to establish prevalence of the, further refine the definition of it, and attempt to develop treatment for it. Sadly these are not just lockdown symptoms and likely are due to inflammation, possible autoimmune reactions, end organ damage, and a very dysregulated immune system.

Imaginary Numbers
Imaginary Numbers

According to Dr Pierre Kory, ivermectin is showing promise in relieving "long haul covid" symptoms in as little as 3 days. See interview with Dr Mobeen Syed.

nic9075
nic9075

'slightly longer' is not 'Forever'. and many of those symptoms listed are also listed as side effects of many medications.
By the way, on 60 minutes the fed chairman is expecting a boom in the economy in the second half (not a strong recovery but an outright boom)... It would be a shame if people who are 'experiencing these symptoms' (which also can diagnosed as Fibromyaglia or chronic fatigue syndrome don't participate in this booming economy --- by this I mean not work and suck on the govt's teat by 'collecting benefits'.....
Being 'out of the labor force' is probably worse for ones career and earnings prospects than being 'unemployed and looking for work'

Jojo
Jojo

It seems that for a lot of these people, getting the vaccine shot miraculously clears up their problems almost immediately. Can everyone spell 'psychosomatic'?

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Covid is more like Guillain-Barre for the masses. Some will recover fully. Others will never be the same. The longer term effects of Covid seem to be due to the fact that a storm occurs on the body doing permanent damage to some systems and parts.

Jojo
Jojo

Looks like you committed mask wearers now have another big problem to worry about. Y'all know of course that anyone can make masks and they aren't reviewed by anybody for meeting any kind of standards, yes?

Well, it seems that people wearing masks are potentially inhaling a variety of particles that the masks are made of and/or contaminated with, from plastic to fiberglass to graphene.  Cotton masks are not a solution as cotton fibers inhaled can also be problematic.

This may be of particular interest to those who have children.  

I'm sure everyone has heard of mesothelioma by now.  Will we be seeing the same TV ads years from now for those who were forced to wear masks for over a year?  "Were you forced to wear a mask during the Covid scare and wound up with reduced lung capacity? CALL US! We'll get you millions of $$$!".

Perhaps some of you may recall all the upset people here in CA last year after hearing the MSM reports from DOCTORS of potential lung damage from inhaling fire smoke from JUST ONE FIRE (and we had many more than one). Quite the brouhaha! How will people react when they learn they may have been inhaling plastic waste fibers and other contaminants from facemasks?

Calling Dr. Fauci, we need a "do not worry" pronunciation. Stat!

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 1:
Friable mask particulate and lung vulnerability
Boris Borovoy, Colleen Huber, Q Makeeta

Abstract
There is no biological history of mass masking until the current era.  It is important to consider possible outcomes of this society-wide experiment.  The consequences to the health of individuals is as yet unknown.

Masked individuals have measurably higher inspiratory flow than non-masked individuals. This study is of new masks removed from manufacturer packaging
, as well as a laundered cloth mask, examined microscopically.  Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask.  Also, tight and loose fibers were
seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of inhalation of such particles and fibers.  However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris
in mask manufacture or packaging or handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the lungs.
...

Greggg
Greggg

In their study, the prevalence of the South African strain among vaccinated individuals who were infected despite their inoculation was eight times higher than its prevalence in the unvaccinated infected population. Though the number of such infections among the vaccinated was relatively small, the findings indicated that this variant was far more successful in getting through vaccinated individuals’ defenses than other strains.https://www.timesofisrael.com/real-world-israeli-data-shows-south-african-variant-better-at-bypassing-vaccine/

TwisterTim
TwisterTim

The cure for"LONG COVID" and everything else considered to be COVID related can
be cured by following the science.....MASKS are the biggest single cause of health issues now and going forward. Follow the science ....STOP MASKING !!!!!

6 Replies

Gorby
Gorby

Another covidiot chimes in. The cited article clearly states that they are proposing a HYPOTHESIS. In reading through the article I noted some truly absurd observations. They cited a study where surgeons wearing masks for long procedures had a 1% drop in oxygen levels. How do we know it's the mask and not standing there working away for 4 hours without a break? Furthermore its not clear what "1%" means. If they mean oxygen saturation dropped 1% who cares? A drop from 97% to 96% has ZERO clinical significance. The whole article is a jumble of semi-relevent articles cobbled together to give the appearance of a well thought out explanation. Note that this was published in a journal named "MEDICAL HYPOTHESES".

News flash: medical personnel have been wearing masks varying in form and composition for decades without side effects. I spent 42 years of my life working in the OR and nothing like this has happened to me or anyone else I know.

I spent over a year practicing medicine during the pandemic wearing a mask all day long. Neither I nor my staff experienced any symptoms of covid or respiratory distress.

I believe that thanks to our precautions regarding social distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, and cleaning of surfaces after each encounter prevented all of us from experiencing symptoms of infection. Could they have been asymptomatic? Possibly. There's no way to know.

I do know that a nearby clinic that had very lax processes in place were decimated by employee absences due to covid. At one point over half their staff was out sick.

We did see patients who we knew were covid positive but we took no other precautions than our standard procedures.

Blaming masks is a sign of brain damage. According to Dr. Fauci the treatment for that is to add a second layer of foil to your hat.

I know one doctor who appeared to have respiratory problems with masks, resolved by wearing cotton masks. However that was in the 1980s.

Masks will not hurt you. At worst they might not be effective, but despite a year of explaining to the public that masks don't protect YOU, they protect OTHER PEOPLE from carriers of the virus I continue to hear stories from covidiots that they wore a mask and still got infected.

Jojo
Jojo

I assume when you use the pejorative term Covidiot that you are looking in the mirror?

Because if you had read further than the title, as far down as the 2nd sentence in the Abstract, you would have read:

"Although, scientific evidence supporting facemasks’ efficacy is lacking, adverse physiological, psychological and health effects are established."

Then you could have read the evidence laid out below, instead of wasting your time penning a long BS reply based on one word. Oh and you do understand that hypothesis is the beginning of the scientific process?

Sheese. You really are stupid.

Jojo
Jojo

Thanks for this. Did you read my post up above about masks shedding fibers and contaminants into your lungs?

TwisterTim
TwisterTim

Yes, I did !! The list of "Long Covid" symptoms could easily be "mask" induced health issues. Texas and other states lifting Mask Mandates are doing much better,
and are Healthier!!

TwisterTim
TwisterTim

Those who must resort to name calling lack the ability discuss rationally and do so only for in defense, afraid of being proven wrong. Look up the studies that showed
no difference in OR infection rates in Masked workers Vs Non-Masked workers. NO Studies support masking anywhere for infection prevention.

Gorby
Gorby

Like I said, covidiots. You don't understand the scientific process and you definitely don't know how to read a scientific paper.

Just because they SAY the harm of masks is well established doesn't make it true. You have to consider the proof backing the arguments.

And Texas isn't really the example you want to use. Even though Abbott ended mask mandates the vast majority of businesses still adhere to the policy - banks, supermarkets, restaurants, hardware stores, etc.

In addition, covid in Texas had already fallen precipitously before Abbott abandoned the mask mandate.

COVIDIOTS!

numike
numike

we have only just begun with covid Evidence for increased breakthrough rates of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in BNT162b2 mRNA vaccinated individuals | medRxiv https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.06.21254882v1

Sechel
Sechel

Jerome Powell talking his book. There's a bit of self promotion here. Still an informative interview

dd12
dd12

Have Long Haul Covid. Mostly ongoing SOB, fatigue, and exercise intolerance. I thought I would recover 100% eventually, after a year I am second guessing that. If I didn't have work from home I would be screwed. I don't think I could do more than 2 days a week in office. I keep telling friends this is legit and is going to a huge societal burden (i.e. health care costs, lost productivity, income loss, etc.). The naysayers will come around when the variants get to them or their friends/family eventually. We need a Manhatten Project for LC treatment.

njbr
njbr

The longer it goes, the more variants there will be.

Since it is clear from many of the comments that you can't cure stupid, it will be here for a long time.

My educated guess is that the more times you fall ill with it, the more damage to your health.

Nature weeds out the stupid.

GeorgeWP
GeorgeWP

I would have thought it was pretty clear by now that some viral infections do damage to the nervous system along with the more obvious damage. Not just COVID.

So those countries that are heavily infected will wear a long term productivity and social cost.

njbr
njbr

My guess is that the insurer's, counting the beans, will start drawing lines around those who have had it and those who haven't.

michaelhbond
michaelhbond

Mish, take a look at the Gulf War Syndrome symptoms... a 90% match.

Part of the medical profession and others said soldiers were making it up. But several allied countries have the exact same syndrome. Syndrome being a collection of symptoms and illnesses that do not fit in any medical diagnosis. And most doctors do not want to have anything to do with these kind of patients who they can not prescribe a meds to.

It is not the same cause, but humans can only express so many symptoms and something that has messed with the nervous system or the body in another systematic way will exhibit many of the same symptoms.

Call_me_Al
Call_me_Al

It is worth noting that the study referenced in the University of Minnesota story did not find increased prevalence of some symptoms associated with long-haulers--

""We investigated the presence of long-term symptoms after mild COVID-19 in a relatively young and healthy group of working individuals, and we found that the predominant long-term symptoms are loss of smell and taste. Fatigue and respiratory problems are also more common among participants who have had COVID-19 but do not occur to the same extent," says Charlotte Thålin, specialist physician, Ph.D. and lead researcher for the COMMUNITY study at Danderyd Hospital and Karolinska Institutet. "However, we do not see an increased prevalence of cognitive symptoms such as brain fatigue, memory and concentration problems or physical disorders such as muscle and joint pain, heart palpitations or long-term fever.""

Sechel
Sechel

Covid really messes with the lungs. There is probably long term damage even by those that don't report symptoms. Just one more reason to get vaccinated.

Sechel
Sechel

No getting vaccinated does not make one MORE likely to contract COVID or one of the variants

A real-world data study in Israel found that Pfizer (PFE.F) and BioNTech's (22UA.F) COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be less effective against the South African variant of the virus, Reuters reported Monday.

Only about 1% of the COVID-19 cases in the trial, conducted by the Tel Aviv University and Israeli healthcare provider Clalit, involved the South African variant, or B.1.351. The study compared about 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received either one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease.

The study showed the variant's prevalence rate was 8x higher among patients who had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine compared with those who were unvaccinated. The researchers said this suggests the jab is less effective against the variant compared with the original coronavirus and the variant first identified in the UK.

AND THIS IS KEY

The researchers, however, said the study was not intended to deduce the overall effectiveness of the vaccine against any variant since it focused on people who already tested positive for COVID-19 and not at overall infection rates.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I know someone who had COVID last summer, and still can’t taste or smell normally, and in fact many normal things (like food) seem to taste weird and disgusting. Not a life-threatening symptom, but it affects quality of life.

I think many people will try to claim disability from COVID. Some of it will be legitimate, but I expect massive numbers of fake claims will make it hard for the people who need and deserve help to get it. Medical disability is already very hard to get, for that reason.


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