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When does COVID become long COVID? What happens to the body when symptoms persist?

When does COVID become long COVID? And what's happening in the body when symptoms persist?
Christopher Lemercier/Unsplash

As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches 1,000 days in Australia, We are familiar with cough, fever, and fatigue that identify the hallmarks of infection.

Almost 50% of Australians are now infected with the new coronavirus. Most of us will recover just fine, but some will have lingering symptoms or new symptoms for a long time.

As we move through the peaks and troughs of COVID, a new long-term COVID wave is emerging. But there’s still a lot we don’t know.

When did COVID become long COVID?

As a new disease, what is the There is no single definition of when the end and the long-term COVID start.

The Australian Department of Health defines prolonged COVID as persistent onset or symptoms for at least 4 weeks after initial infection.

By contrast, World Health Organization guidelines say long-term COVID begins three months after infection.

These broad timeframes lead to an estimated 5% to 50% of people infected with Covid-19 will develop long-term Covid-19.

What are the symptoms?

List of 200+ symptoms to make long COVID Define ten parts of the more complex body.

The most common and longest-lasting symptoms include brain fog, impaired memory and concentration, fatigue, headache, tinnitus (tinnitus in the ears), difficulty breathing, loss of taste and smell.

For many people, these symptoms come on suddenly after physical or mental exertion.

Less common symptoms include chest pain and palpitations, visual disturbances, and diarrhea.

People who have been infected with the new coronavirus for a long time have also reported dental problems, with teeth becoming loose and chipping, and bleeding gums.

What caused the prolonged COVID?

Our impact on the body of the new coronavirus Little is known about when and why some people have persistent symptoms and others don’t.

A recent study found that COVID causes an increase in chemical messengers that signal inflammation. Over time, this damages the insulating layer of myelin sheaths in nerve cells, which are essential for nerves to transmit and coordinate information around the body and brain.

The immune system may also work in a more obscure way. Antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus may target special cells in the walls of blood vessels in the brain, allowing inflammatory cells to more easily enter brain tissue.

Although preliminary, these studies may hint at an underlying mechanism of brain fog and problems with memory and attention.

Other studies are very fresh and have not been peer-reviewed (and should therefore be interpreted with more caution).

One such new study shows that people chronically infected with the new coronavirus have higher numbers of circulating immune cells and abnormally low levels of immune cells. The stress hormone cortisol.

In addition to stress, cortisol is also important in regulating inflammation, so low cortisol levels may be a form of immune system excess way – positive. However, these results are far from clear.

Another new study compares people who have recovered and those who have been chronically infected with the new coronavirus, finds immune signaling chemicals in the blood There were no significant changes, no differences in memory and thinking tests, and no differences between groups in lung or heart function.

Taken together, these studies suggest that sustained activity of the immune system may contribute to long-term COVID-19 in the brain and other organs in multiple overlapping ways.

The causes and consequences of prolonged COVID-19 are the focus of global research and have not yet been clearly defined. This is an important research direction, because identifying what is going on in the body will also help us identify targets for treating long-term COVID.

Long-term COVID can have far-reaching effects

We also need a clearer picture of how and how long COVID affects patients , such as their ability to work or study and their quality of life.

The federal government recently announced a parliamentary inquiry into the long-term COVID-19 inquiry that will seek to answer these questions.

5 to 15 % of people who have had COVID in between will go on to develop long-term COVID.

A federal parliamentary committee is now tasked with assessing the health, social, educational and economic impacts of long-term COVID. https://t.co/AAymOhqlv1

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) September 5, 2022

While long-term Covid-19 infections are a minority, a minimum estimate of 5% long-term Covid-19 infection rate is equivalent to an estimated 500,000 Australians currently suffering from or will be Soon to suffer from long-term infection with the new coronavirus.

If you are one of them, your GP should be Your first stop for assessment and ongoing management.

If needed, your GP can refer you to a dedicated long-term COVID clinic in Australia. These clinics are designed to treat symptoms of long-term COVID using a multidisciplinary approach and serve as a central hub for patients to access evidence-based care to combat long-term COVID.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original text. Citation : When did COVID become long COVID? What happens to the body when symptoms persist? (September 9, 2022) Retrieved on September 22, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-09-covid-body-symptoms-persist.html Retrieved This document is copyrighted. Except for any fair dealing for private study or research purposes, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is for reference only.

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