Some Are Experiencing 'Chronic COVID' Symptoms for up to Months
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Journal's your health columnist joins for what could be causing these long-term effects. Thanks for joining a sufi traveling. Me wanna talk these long haul co vid patients. People that are experiencing symptoms for weeks. Maybe months after they were expected to recover. You know they say mild normal cases of covid nineteen can last about two weeks before you recover. But this is part of what this novel coronaviruses. We're finding out that everybody's responding to this differently and a lot of times. People are experiencing these long symptoms of severe fatigue. Cognitive issues memory loss. They call it. Fog people are experiencing digestive problems radic heart rates and. There's a lot of stuff that is that is going into this so tell us a little bit more about what we're learning of these. Long term effects people are experiencing. it's really interesting phenomenon. You have people who in many cases that are sort of acute ovid their initial. Kobe is not bad but and just in many cases they're saying there's a couple of weeks they think they've recovered or feel only they have and so for some They're developing new symptoms and weeks later and the peace persist for months and some are going on for now. Six seven eight months and others They're actually getting worse. So what was a mild case of would initially has now evolved into a sort of chronic condition where they're developing new and even worsening symptoms. You know months later and really not getting any better. You spoke to a lot of people that are these. Long haulers are experiencing these types of symptoms and i think One of the people you spoke to put her back and just feel the frustration of it. They said i feel like there has to be some sort of next step. Because i'm not ready to accept that this is my new reality. Basically like there has to be this point. Where i get over it. You know. we can't be like this forever. In many cases these are young and extremely healthy people. you dozens of them. Over the past four months and i've interviewed marathoners. I've interviewed avid skier. Surfers people were extremely active and athletic beforehand. Again that's not everyone but it seems like percentage of my are so to go from having no conditions to being young and healthy and active too sickly being ability to the point. Where you know. A lot of them can't walk more than five blocks down the street or even at all without a wheelchair or a cane sport then it's quite transform ring and obviously extremely frustrating. Let's try to put some numbers to this and you know it's it's hard to do that. But there was a recent study of more than four thousand covid patients and found out that about ten percent of those they were eighteen to forty nine struggles symptoms for four weeks after becoming sick. That's just one part of it. You know there's people that are obviously experiencing things longer than that. Those numbers prop ball. This the rough estimate that you get from a lot of different places that this affects the seems to about ten to fifteen percent of the population or at least that are still sick after a month. It's hard to know how many of them get better. I mean according to that one sort of symptom tracker it seemed to draw by about half so that by two months You had about four or five percent of people that we're still sick and then after three months it was down to two to three percent but there is a lot of criticism from sort of patient groups about that at just because it's the daily app so obviously some people particularly if they're really stick at sick of sort of logging on every day. They might just stop doing the app. That doesn't mean they're better. Recovered is translated that way so it probably those numbers are very conservative estimate. There's other long-term symptoms associated with other viral outbreaks. Things like sars and mers and all that but what makes cova different is all the different organs that it can affect and the leading explanation for this. The doctors really thing why people get affected so many different ways and then get these longer symptoms. Is they think it has a lot to do with inflammation sort of the leading theory. Is that inflammation and possibly. The body has an autoimmune response. So sort of attacking its own. Tissue in oregon. That might be what's driving the damage you know. It's also obviously under investigation and being researched but it's unclear whether that's being driven by sort of viral fragments that are left in the body. That aren't enough for anyone to be infectious. Triggering inflammation and sort of auto immune response or actual bio traces like lodged in a different part of the body. That could be kind of reactivating. Almost a gorman virus and causing dumbs a lot of patients ju- complain of sort of cyclical. Like feeling better for a couple of weeks and unreal feeling sick. So that sort of theory might jibe with that. And you've been looking into this for a long time like you said you'd spoken to many people even children that come down with covid. Nineteen in some cases are getting some longer term effects. A lot of that has to do with gastrointestinal stuff headache shortness of breath things like that. Yeah yeah i mean. This is really all consuming. I've talked to patients who have severe gi issue severe cognitive issues brain fog rashes hair loss. High very high heart rate very some symptoms and one of the leading sort of theory is bad behavior developing disorder no mea which is sort of a dysfunction of the automatic nervous system and it's an umbrella term and it's commonly triggered by viruses and not just co ed but it's triggered by influenza or sars or other things and it affects different organ systems. So going back your breathing your heart rate. Your blood pressure gestion. So that's some of these patients are starting to get a diagnosis and treated and so our doctors trying to treat these other things. I mean. obviously you have to wait for these symptoms to persist to actually start addressing it. But what are doctors figuring out. What are they going to try to do with it. Caution treat this. I just mentioned this ought to know me disorder. No me You know it causes tax party. I which isn't a radical heart rate. But it's not you don't have damaged your actual heart the way you might treat them like know me. I would be really bad if you did have heart damage. So the patients undergo very careful evaluation. Like before you would treat sarno me. You'd want to get an echocardiogram or or more. I make sure that person didn't have myocarditis or something. You know cardiac problem. That's more cardiac nature that would have to be treated differently. So this is a lot of tests or ruling out of things like to make sure. There's no permanent sort of oregon damage that's going on and they are findings working damage but in a very small minority of patients. Best of luck to these people that do get these long term symptoms and hopefully doctors can get better at treating it and you know. We're we're going through this learning constantly more things about cove in nineteen. So we'll see what happens soon at the ready wall street. Journal's your health columnist. Thank you very much for joining us travel. I'm oscar ramirez and this has been reopening america. Don't forget efforts as big news stories. You can check me out on the daily podcast every monday through friday so follow us on iheartradio or wherever you get your podcast axios. Today is a new podcast featuring a team of award winning axios journalists and hosted by me nylon buddha. We bring the latest on the events and trends shaping our world including some of the biggest scoops from washington. Dc this new ten minute. 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