October 16, 2020-According to a new review, the condition commonly referred to as “long COVID” can be up to four, not one syndrome.
This finding comes from a review of scientific evidence published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The· paper, Living with COVID19 leverages the latest expert consensus and published evidence, as well as patient experience.
It is estimated that as many as 60,000 people in the UK have long COVIDs.
Long COVID “Maybe Catch-All Term”
This review found a clear consistency in various recurrent symptoms between those who were hospitalized for COVID-19 and those who had COVID-19 in the community. People with ongoing COVID-19 had problems with the respiratory system, brain, cardiovascular system, heart, kidneys, intestines, liver, and even skin.
The authors stated that such a wide range of symptoms created diagnostic uncertainty.
“We believe the term” long COVID “is used as a catch-all for multiple syndromes, and in some cases up to four syndromes,” said review author Elaine Maxwell. Maxwell is a clinical advisor to the center.
At a briefing hosted by the Science Media Center (SMC), she experiences “classical post-severe illness symptoms” while others “fatigue and brain fog in a manner consistent with post-virus fatigue syndrome.” Some patients report.
The third group experiences “permanent organ damage caused by the virus” and another important group describes a roller coaster with symptoms that “move around the body and do not progress steadily towards recovery”. “.
“We believe that the lack of distinction between these syndromes may explain the challenges people are believing in and facing when accessing services,” Maxwell said.
Patients who are unable to address and treat symptoms due to the lack of an agreed definition of ongoing COVID, especially those who are not hospitalized and have not been previously diagnosed, encounter psychological effects. The review said it was possible.
Ongoing COVID “Can last for months”
Another notable feature of ongoing COVID was the wide duration of patients reporting illness.
“Currently, people seeking help and advice are said to be able to recover within a few weeks, but seven months after the initial infection, they are still working and studying,” Maxwell said. , I heard from someone who can’t care for their dependents .. ”As part of the study, NIHR CED held a focus group of 14 members of the Long COVID Facebook group. Members include those who have been hospitalized and those who have not.
One of them, Joanna House, a climate variability scholar at the University of Bristol, developed COVID-19 in March after she and her partner Ash fell home and helped an elderly neighbor infected with the virus. did.
After 7 months, both Jo and Ash continue to experience ongoing COVID symptoms such as shortness of breath, malaise, fast heartbeat, and brain fog.
They told researchers that they had mixed experiences of seeking help from medical professionals and were sometimes frustrated because they were not hospitalized and had not been tested at the time.
“Without the long formal approval of COVID and the associated support, we feel uneasy,” Joanna House told researchers.
Urgent research needed
The authors of the review stated that the current challenge is to integrate the needs of people with the condition with clinical models of care and design studies that recognize the social and psychological effects of ongoing COVID. I did.
Philip Pearson, MD, a respiratory consultant in Northampton, UK, said the current lack of data on ongoing COVID needs to be addressed “quickly”.
He told the SMC briefing: “I have patients and colleagues with post-COVID symptoms. Now I need to know how to advise them.
“When the second wave begins, the only thing we can be confident about is that there will be more hospitalizations, more ICU hospitalizations, and more people dealing with longer-term effects. COVID infections Of illness. “
Candace Imison, Deputy Director of Evidence and Dissemination of NIHRCED, said work is underway and will be added to the website when new evidence emerges, including major updates in January or February 2021. Said.
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