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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/18/20

Covid 'Long-Haulers' Represent the Future of Pre-Existing Conditions

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COVID-19 patient
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They're called "long-haulers".

They're victims of Covid-19 in a separate category from the 80% who experience mild symptoms and those complaining of severe symptoms for three to six weeks.

They're a combination of the two, battling lasting deleterious effects of the nascent scourge that has to date infected over eight million Americans and killed over 219,000.

Family medicine doctor Christopher Babiuch explained:

"We're now seeing a percentage of patients whose symptoms seem to be lasting a while. This is challenging because everyone's needs are so unique. We're finding that collaborating as a team between different specialists helps to manage and support these patients, but there's a lot that we just don't know yet."

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) recently released a report indicating patients with "long Covid" may experience four distinct simultaneous syndromes.

The report's lead author, Dr. Elaine Maxwell, said:

"We believe that the term long Covid is being used as a catch-all for more than one syndrome, possibly up to four, and that the lack of distinction between these syndromes may explain the challenges people are having in being believed and accessing services."

NIHR identified four patient subsets.

First are those recovering from intensive care too weak to sit, lift their arms, speak, or swallow, whose conditions may be contributing to depression and post-traumatic stress.

Then there are those with aching muscles, mental fog, andfatigue not unlike that those with chronicfatiguesyndrome experience.

Then there's organ damage.

Breathlessness, persistent coughing, and racing pulse could be symptoms of lingering lung or heart damage.

A recent study discovered that six weeks after leaving the hospital about half of Covid patients still experienced difficulty breathing. At 12 weeks, it was 39%.

About a third of patients--even those with mild infections--sustained heart damage.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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