long covid

What Is Long COVID? Decoding Link Between Long COVID And Chronic Fatigue

With its originating point in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread throughout the world, making history as the fifth pandemic since the 1918 flu. Within a couple of days, more than 200 million cases had been verified, and 4.6 million people had died. The virus quickly changed from a serious issue to a worldwide health emergency, and stringent containment measures were implemented. There was a rush to create a vaccine as additional variations like Lambda, Alpha, and Delta emerged. On December 31, 2020, the Long COVID-19 vaccine received its initial validation for emergency use.

Between December 11th and 7th, 2023, COVID-19 cases and deaths increased by 4% and 26%, respectively. New hospitalizations and ICU admissions increased by 40% and 13%, respectively.

What Is Long COVID?

Long COVID, also known as post-COVID conditions (PCC), refers to the long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection. It covers diseases, indications, and symptoms that follow a serious infection or arise later. Health issues that can persist for weeks, months, or even years can be included in long-term COVID-19. Although it can affect anyone infected with the virus, it is more common in those who have experienced severe COVID-19 sickness. Individuals who contract COVID-19 and are not immunized against the virus may be more susceptible to Long COVID than those who have received the vaccination.

Some Common Symptoms

Long COVID refers to various health issues that COVID-19 virus carriers have. After infection, it may linger for a prolonged period and cause impairment. Fatigue, fever, heart and respiratory symptoms, cough, chest discomfort, rapid heartbeat, headache, sleep issues, disorientation, depression, and digestive symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, rash, and irregular menstruation periods are just some of the symptoms. Certain individuals may experience the onset of new medical issues, such as diabetes, heart problems, blood clots, or neurological disorders. Severe sickness patients may also experience health issues such as post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), which may exacerbate long-term COVID-19. Some individuals have a higher risk of developing Long COVID because of serious illness, underlying medical disorders, and limited access to healthcare.

Link Between Long COVID And Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a disorder marked by symptoms like gastrointestinal problems, shortness of breath, and loss of taste or smell, is connected to Long COVID. According to an Iranian meta-analysis, 42.5% of patients with Long COVID experience persistent fatigue, which frequently lasts for months, even with treatment.

Antivirals like nirmatrelvir may be used to treat CFS and prevent Long COVID. According to a November 2022 study, the antiviral medication nirmatrelvir brought down the risk of Long COVID by 26% in those who used it. However, it is unclear at this time if the drug could shield younger individuals against Long COVID.

A different study in December 2022 discovered that individuals with CFS had higher antibody levels than those without the condition against some herpes viruses, including Epstein-Barr (EBV). This implies that COVID-19 reactivated viruses connected to CFS symptoms.

Research on CFS, a perplexing disorder that has received little attention from the scientific world for decades, has been rekindled by Long COVID. Ninety percent of CFS sufferers are thought never to receive a correct diagnosis. Many cases have been written off as something that is only “in the mind” and can be resolved with exercise therapy.

There are no proven treatments for CFS, so treating Long COVID is controversial. Although graded exercise treatment was recommended for many years, several medical professionals contend it was difficult for patients to adhere to. Our knowledge of both Long COVID and CFS should be improved by funding clinical trials for treatment and deeper comprehension of the underlying causes of each illness.

Further Findings

According to an Otago University study, there is a connection between Long Covid and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). And individuals may benefit from a coordinated therapy approach. Immune system proteins and energy production lines were discovered to be severely dysregulated in both scenarios. This may result in developing treatment strategies that help extremely disabled patients. The results may also be used for CFS, which has historically received inadequate funding.

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