Hope for an end to the ‘Long Covid’ syndrome

Vaccine is thought to be able to become a normal healthy life hope for millions of people, even though they have survived Covid-19, they are still stuck by fatigue and sickness.

Amanda Finley, 42 years old, lives in Kansas, Missouri, USA, contracted Covid-19 in October 2020. The consequence of Covid-19 for her was cardiovascular disease. Finley has frequent heart arrhythmias – a condition that causes her heart rate to rise to 120-130 beats per minute. Finley took the medicine but didn’t help.

When Finley gave his first dose of Moderna vaccine in late February, the situation began to change. A week after the injection, she no longer had any symptoms. She thinks the Covid-19 vaccine has helped her get rid of a constant heart disorder.

Finley is an administrator for a Facebook group of 12,000 members who used to have Covid-19. She surveyed the members about their illness after getting the vaccine. Of the 68 respondents, 32% noted an improvement, 53% did not see any change, and nearly 15% felt worse.

Dr. Michael Saag, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama in Birmingham also has a CoV infection and is treating patients with “Long Covid” syndrome. Some people feel better after getting a shot, he said. “I can’t explain it, but I think this is a real phenomenon,” he said.

Researchers are on the way to decipher this, in the hopes of unraveling the mysteries of patient fatigue months after Covid-19’s cessation and offering treatments for similar diseases.

In the US, with more than 30 million CoV infections, “Long-term Covid” syndrome emerged as a stinging problem. “Even when we control the epidemic, millions of people will still suffer from this condition,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University. Dr. Jennifer Frontera, a neurologist at New York University, who is studying the syndrome, agrees that the number of patients with “long-lasting Covid” syndrome can be in the millions.

Having given a number of theories about the cause of this syndrome, Iwasaki relied on it to explain the effects of vaccines on patients. The first hypothesis is that a permanent viral infection or fragments of the virus left in the body is the cause of the disease. They will be destroyed by the body through vaccines. “By removing the root of the problem, the symptoms will be cured,” said Dr. Iwasaki.

Another theory is that “prolonged Covid” is an autoimmune disease, which occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s cells, according to Iwasaki. If so, the vaccine-triggered response could help immune cells switch targets.

“These theories are not mutually exclusive,” said Iwasaki. “A person can have a long-term infection with an autoimmune disease,” said Iwasaki.

Some scientists, such as immunologist Nancy Klimas speculate that the culprit of the persistent symptoms may be that the virus is old, has been contained. According to Ms. Klimas, Covid-19 destroys the immune system, leaving the virus active. Vaccines can restore the antiviral response, preventing them from having a monster effect.

Other experts, like Frontera, argue that before considering the role vaccines play in this regard, it is better to understand why the syndrome occurs. “Once we understand that, we can hypothesize that some of the antibody or T-cell responses to vaccines have improved disease,” said Dr. Frontera.

Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine specialist at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, emphasized that the only way to demonstrate the benefits of the vaccine for people with long-term Covid is to conduct controlled research. In it, the participants did not know if they had been vaccinated, to rule out the placebo effect.

Frontera says a placebo effect is possible. Many people start to feel better after being treated with any method, even if it doesn’t work biologically.

A health worker from South Shore University Hospital is giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Bay Shore, New York. Image: ABC News.

Although no one can confirm that vaccines help improve disease, Experts recommend that people with “prolonged Covid” should be vaccinated. “I hope they will get the vaccine, not because they should, but because they should. If they feel better after the injection, I would love to hear about it,” said Ms. Klimas.

“There are many reasons to get vaccinated,” said Dr Harlan Krumholz, a researcher at Yale University. “Vaccines seem to have additional health-enhancing effects for some patients.”

Experts also argue that more research is needed. “Finding the cause of these persistent symptoms really helps the patient in every way: diagnosis, treatment and prognosis,” said Dr. Iwasaki.

“We are examining the serum of long-term Covid patients to see if antibodies and T cells can repair on their own,” said Iwasaki. after vaccination to see what kind of immunity is strengthened “.

Dr. Frontera is investigating how many patients experience long-term post-Covid-19 symptoms and whether they get better after vaccination. She also urged patients to participate in the study: “Sign up for any clinical study for which you are eligible. We need everyone’s help to clear this up.”

The study of “Long Covid” and the effects of a vaccine on the disease could have far-reaching effects. “If the vaccine does not boost the antiviral response in a particular direction, it would be very good for many patients, not just those with long-term Covid, but also for cancer patients and those with immunodeficiency,” Klimas said. Translate”.

Dr. Krumholz added: “Understanding this will help to solve the mystery in treating illness after a viral infection or autoimmune disease.”

Mai Dung (Follow USA Today, ABC New)


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