Long Covid: What to look out for in the year after infection – 09/06/2022

Long Covid: What to look out for in the year after infection – 09/06/2022

If there’s one tough discussion in the scientific community, it’s about the long-term Covid-19 virus, but it’s becoming impossible to stop confronting it. Meanwhile, the population, which is people like you and me, is a little lost.

For anyone infected with Sars-CoV-2 – unfortunately, in the age of omicron, we’re talking about half of us – any little difference has become a cause for division. Could the underlying cause be Covid-19? If one day they test positive, what should anyone watch out for in the first few months, let alone the first year?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), one in five people under the age of 60 infected with Covid-19 in the United States, including children and teens, will have advanced or persistent manifestations of coronavirus infection. By the time they reach sixty or older, that percentage rises to one in four.

If so, look how much trouble we have in front of us: until yesterday, the 8th, Brazil had accumulated 31.3 million covid-19 cases, compared to 534 million worldwide. Think about a quarter to one in five of all these people who may have been chronically ill with Covid-19.

In principle, almost any new symptom after infection is worthwhile under this label, so we are talking about a list of more than two dozen unpleasant symptoms, some of which are quite complicated, such as breathlessness.

However, late last year, the WHO (World Health Organization) decided to organize the shack a bit and defined a logic for doctors to say that someone does indeed have chronic Covid-19. An important part of this criterion has to do with the duration of the complaint.

By definition, long-term covid

Point 1: WHO criteria means that you have symptoms that co-occur with a covid-19 diagnosis and do not go away even after 12 weeks (that is, three months after the radius of infection), as if they had arrived and stayed.

However, symptoms that only appear after you’ve gotten rid of Sars-CoV 2 are also valid, provided it’s clear they can’t have any other cause and they’re also older than 12 weeks, with a date of infection of “zero” that count.

If they disappear before the deadline, we’re not talking about long-term Covid-19, but the expected and boring recovery from the same boring illness.

Only in this way? Do not! Second point: These symptoms should last at least eight weeks, or two months. Where I want to go: According to WHO guidance, that person has had severe headaches for up to a month and a half, and even if the discomfort has been more than 12 weeks, he will not be trapped in the long-term new crown virus. And all because he hasn’t had a headache for two full months. transfer? It’s not a long covid, it’s more of a boring recovery and period.

In short, a complaint must last two months without much truce and come three months after covid-19 was diagnosed.

One final detail: The World Health Organization considers respiratory problems as part of the long-standing definition of Covid-19, cardiac problems (such as the famous myocarditis, which is more common after infection with Sars-CoV-2) and neurological problems, as long as they are those with Things that interfere with people’s daily life in a very important way, such as fatigue and memory-related problems

According to Dr. Max Igor Lopes, coordinator of the infectious disease clinic at the USP (University of São Paulo) Faculty of Medicine Hospital and consultant to the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases, no one has minimized patient suffering. Those with symptoms that don’t fit these conditions, ranging from skin problems to body aches.

“Currently, the idea of ​​the WHO is to focus on what’s most important, guiding the profile of public and private health care,” he explained. “For example, breathing changes tend to be more severe.”

So, in the first year after contracting Sars-CoV-2, the first three months of observation are critical – even if you come forward and say you have or do have chronic Covid-19.

However, as the infectious scientists themselves admit, there are some issues that go beyond this latest WHO standard and deserve to be studied eagerly over a longer period of time.

Pay attention to blood pressure, blood sugar and liver health

“One of the difficulties with talking about long-term covid is: you have to always try to prove that there is a causal link between what the person has and covid-19,” said Dr. Max Igor Lopes. “With omnidirectional, it’s going to be very difficult, Because in the next two or three months, 50% of Brazilians will think it will happen because of this variant and it will be hard to tell the difference.”

Before the team at USP Hospital das Clínicas da USP investigating chronic covid, much of the research in the field focused on specific health problems that emerged after covid-19 and compared it to what happened before, he said.

“But to avoid confusion, we always compared people who had experienced similar conditions during infection. For example, before and after we looked at those who needed ICU, we analyzed those who lived in common hospital beds separately, without our mixing these groups.”

This is how they confirmed something noteworthy around the world: Diabetes, high blood pressure and liver changes were diagnosed more frequently in the post-infection period, although none of these were considered long-term infections.

“We can’t say the coronavirus is the cause. But, somehow, it or the reactions it triggers in the body seem to amplify an individual’s predisposition to all three problems,” the doctor said. “Maybe the person will become hypertensive or have diabetes anyway, but Covid-19 will accelerate the process.”

For him, at this stage of the tournament, the search for mechanics hasn’t made any progress. “Let’s be pragmatic: The clear message is that, knowing that high blood pressure, diabetes and liver problems are more likely to occur, clinicians and patients need to recognize the importance of monitoring for up to two years after covid-19, with the first year being the most important. “.

Do vaccines help?

Recently, a study was published in natural medicine and signed by the researcher Veterans Research and Education FoundationIn the United States, nearly 34,000 vaccinated people became infected with Sars-CoV-2 last year.

They were tested six months after infection, and according to scientists, a full vaccination program reduced the risk of long-term infection with the new coronavirus by only 15 percent. A bit disappointing result. But will it be so?

One of the criticisms of the work is to compare the prevalence of symptoms associated with long-term Covid-19, however, without examining whether the person already had similar feelings prior to contracting Covid-19—for example, sometimes, anxiety that was already present in the past It is only taken seriously when you are sick. It also brings together people who have been vaccinated at different times, even though their immunity is already low on the eve of booster season.

“What’s odd about this study and others is that at discharge, for whatever reason, in patients who were prescribed home anti-inflammatory drugs — in this case corticosteroids — at discharge , long-term covid is less frequent”, says Dr Max Igor Lopes.

This suggests that the persistence of inflammation caused by Sars-CoV-2 is indeed an important factor in the development of long-term COVID, and suggests a possible preventive strategy that, of course, should not be applied side by side, but in those cases. More severe patient. “Long-term infections are more common in them,” assured the infectious disease expert.

That’s why, in fact, most studies report that symptoms are less intense when vaccinated people develop prolonged Covid-19. “And they also tend to be shorter in duration,” told the doctor.

In his day-to-day life in the hospital, he recently found far fewer cases of intense, persistent symptoms that can disrupt people’s daily lives, which can be attributed to advancing vaccinations. We hope this micron trawler will be followed by another wave, the long-term corona wave.

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