“Long COVID” – The New And Seriously Troubling New Health Issue
“LongCOVID” – The New And Seriously Troubling New Health Issue
Those who had COVID-19 and survived may not be out of the woods yet. In a new study released on June 15 by health care nonprofit FAIR Health, a review of some 2 million medical records were reviewed to find that as many as one quarter of those patients are now showing other long term medical conditions, including pain, breathing trouble, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney failure, high cholesterol, gastrointestinal problems, malaise, fatigue, and other previously undiagnosed medical issues. These symptoms are continuing in patients 30 or more days after they were determined to be otherwise completely recovered from COVID-19 – which has many medical professionals worried that some, if not many, of these symptoms may be issues that these patients may be battling for some time to come. These new health problems are being called “Long COVID” and the study clearly shows that we are not out of the woods yet by a long shot.
The report showed these continuing symptoms are being found in all age groups from infants through the elderly. They also compared the differences based upon gender, ethnicity, and other demographics. Some disturbing trends show that women are more likely than men to have these continuing symptoms (58% vs, 47%) but that men are more likely to suffer from some of the more serious new health issues such as heart problems and kidney failure. Also men were shown to be more likely to die during the study period than women, which is consistent with previous studies that showed men have a greater chance of dying from COVID-19 than women.
But the study also raises concerns that children might be more affected by COVID-19 than previously thought. The study showed that even young children are at risk of these continuing health issues after fighting off the symptoms normally associated with COVID-19. That should raise concerns about the coming fall when all states are planning to restart “in classroom” studies.
As to why these lingering medical symptoms seem to be linked to COVID-19, the experts are still unsure. Some believe that perhaps remnants of the virus are still left behind in some patients and that these remnants are still engaged in attacking these patient’s bodies. But others speculate that COVID-19 caused patient’s immune systems to go into a sort of “overdrive” that may be causing their bodies to attack themselves.
While the study has not yet been submitted or peer review, it is based upon actual medical records reported from previous COVID-19 patients and, therefore, it deserves serious continued review because the data is actual experience. And, as I previously reported, the results of the current predictive studies concerning where scientists see COVID-19 going from here are NOT being widely reported to the American people. Those studies show that perhaps as many people as have previously died from COVID-19 so far will likely die going forward until this virus is finally under control. That is even more concerning given the fact that resistance to getting the vaccines remains high among many Americans and the number of cases worldwide continues to grow at alarming rates in some areas.
If those situations remain true, that means that almost one and a quarter million people or more will have died in America when all of the data is finally tallied. Those studies are based upon the current variants and do not include any new mutations – which virtually every scientist involved in the research believe will be essentially assured to take place. If you add to those potential figures these new continuing health problems associated with the so-called “Long COVID” issues, we may be looking at significantly more than the projected 1.2 million American deaths.
The issues boil down to real, day-to-day activities. For instance, in talking to our surgeon/scientist friend, they were at a large dance recital past week in Louisiana where not a single person was wearing a mask in the entire crowd of several hundred. Given the fact that Louisiana has a vaccination percentage of only 33%* that shows how dreadfully the new CDC guidelines are being ignored concerning only those people who are fully vaccinated should be going without masks, at the present time. I am happy to report, however, that two nights ago when Rachel and I were driving by a local cafe that is frequented by University of Vermont students we saw a majority of students in the outside seating area wearing masks (and Vermont leads the nation with 61% fully vaccinated).
The simple conclusion of all of this is the fact that COVID-19 remains a serious issue and must not simply be shelved in the news cycle because people are tired of hearing about it. We don’t yet have a plan for the problem that Americans will likely never achieve full “herd immunity” due to the politicalization of the virus. Moving forward, we still have to face the potential mutation issues (variants) which could make our current vaccines ineffective. But this new study brings us aditional concerns as we are finding that the long term effects of COVID could affect our nation’s health scene in ways we never anticipated. That is a sobering and consequential thought for all of us