May 30, 2024

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New Study Suggests a Potential Million-Person Increase in Long-COVID Cases

New Study Suggests a Potential Million-Person Increase in Long-COVID Cases



 

New Study Suggests a Potential Million-Person Increase in Long-COVID Cases.

During the early stages of the pandemic, many Americans came into contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

However, due to testing limitations, a significant number of individuals went undiagnosed. Among these, a considerable portion later experienced symptoms reminiscent of Long-COVID, characterized by symptoms lasting for more than six weeks.

 

In the early days of the pandemic, due to testing constraints, millions of Americans displaying symptoms akin to Long-COVID went undiagnosed.

A recent study has found that 41% of these individuals exhibited an immune response consistent with exposure to SARS-CoV-2, suggesting they may have been infected with COVID-19.

 

Recent research on a subset of these individuals revealed that 41% showed signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These findings were published recently in the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology, “Neurology Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.”

 

Dr. Igor J. Koralnik, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Northwestern Medicine Comprehensive COVID-19 Center in Chicago, along with the American Academy of Neurology, stated, “Because most Long-COVID clinics only accept patients with a positive test result, individuals with similar symptoms are left without specialized care and are excluded from Long-COVID research. Our data suggests that millions of Americans suffering from post-viral syndrome may have encountered SARS-CoV-2 in the early days of the pandemic and should receive the same treatment and research opportunities as diagnosed COVID patients.”

 

New Study Suggests a Potential Million-Person Increase in Long-COVID Cases

 

This small-scale study involved 29 patients with post-viral syndrome, including neurological symptoms such as memory and cognitive issues, headaches, and fatigue, but with COVID test results not showing positivity. They were matched with 32 age-matched individuals who had been regularly tested for COVID and had positive results. Both groups were compared to 18 individuals with no such symptoms, no exposure to COVID, and no positive test results.

 

 

New Study Suggests a Potential Million-Person Increase in Long-COVID Cases

 

 

Researchers tested the participants for antibodies to two proteins within the body that generate an immune response indicative of prior COVID infection—nucleocapsid protein and spike protein.

Among the 29 post-viral syndrome patients, 12 (41%) exhibited immune responses consistent with previous COVID infection, similar to the Long-COVID group.

Three-quarters of these individuals showed a response to nucleocapsid protein, and half showed a response to spike protein.

 

The symptoms within this group also resembled those in the Long-COVID group, and their cognitive test results were similar.

 

Koralnik noted, “Unlike our clinic, approximately 70% of Long-COVID clinics in the United States do not accept Long-COVID symptom patients without positive COVID test results. Our data suggests that at least four million individuals may have post-viral syndrome resembling Long-COVID, with potentially detectable immune responses supporting a COVID diagnosis. More research is needed to confirm our findings.”

 

This study has limitations due to the relatively small number of post-viral syndrome patients involved.

Additionally, if some participants had their blood samples collected at the onset of symptoms, their COVID-19 immune response test results might have been positive.

 

 

 

New Study Suggests a Potential Million-Person Increase in Long-COVID Cases

(source:internet, reference only)


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