The Covid-19 pandemic is turning out to be an inexhaustible ordeal for the mankind. The fact that it is so novel and so little is known about it, makes it medically more complicated. The way it is emerging in different variants, feels like every single wave of this spate is a brand new one. Lately, long Covid, or long-term Covid, is a terminology that has come rolling in the coronavirus lingo and has been bothering people, doctors and scientists alike.
What does it mean by long Covid?
Covid-19 symptoms can sometimes persist for months. The virus has the potential to harm the lungs, heart, and brain, increasing the risk of long-term health issues. Covid-19 symptoms that last longer than the initial phase of a SARS-CoV-2 infection are referred to as long Covid or post-Covid-19, read a report in Medical News Today. Post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is the new term coined by experts for it.
There is a lack of a defined definition for post-Covid-19 and this has made study and remedy of this illness a tad more difficult.
What are the symptoms of long Covid?
Long Covid appears to have varied effects on diverse people. When suffering from long Covid, one may notice a variety of things that will be affecting them for a long time. Symptoms that are common include mental Fog, loss of olfactory and gustatory senses, breathing problems, coughing and joint pain, and pain in the chest.
Sleep disorders, anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, fever, muscle discomfort, depression, headache, and a fast heartbeat are all possible side effects.
As per an article on Mayo Clinic’s website, ‘after receiving COVID-19, some adults and children develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. In this scenario, some organs and tissues become substantially inflamed.’
Causes of long Covid:
Until recently, there was insufficient study to help clinicians figure out who would develop long-haul Covid. Cases of long-haul Covid range from individuals who had severe acute Covid-19 to those who had a very mild first sickness.
However, recently a collaborative study on long Covid titled ‘Multiple Early Factors Anticipate Post-Acute Covid -19 Sequelae’, attempted to shed light on the elements that may have a role in long-haul Covid or PASC (post-acute sequelae of Covid-19).
PASC is caused by four key risk factors, according to researchers:
- The existence of certain autoantibodies
- Type 2 diabetes
- A high viral RNA load
- Reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus, which has been lying dormant in most people’s blood since a childhood infection
It is pertinent to note that autoantibodies are the polar opposite of antibodies, which are provided by vaccines and contribute in the fight against viruses. They however attack your own proteins instead of external pathogens, causing your immune system response to be altered. Autoantibodies are present in everyone, however those with elevated amounts do not respond as well to serious conditions.
Long term Covid-19 symptoms can resemble those of other diseases, so it’s crucial to consult your doctor and eliminate other illnesses like heart disease or lung disease.