Long COVID: Lingering Symptoms and Challenges for Patients

Long COVID: Lingering Symptoms and Challenges for Patients

One such case is a 50-year-old woman from Osaka Prefecture who contracted the virus in July 2022 and is still experiencing symptoms a year and a half later. She faces difficulties with coughing, shortness of breath, body fatigue, and speaking clearly, impacting her ability to work and resulting in a significant reduction in income. Despite seeking medical help, she struggled to find institutions willing to treat her long COVID symptoms.

Dr. Satoshi Marumo, a physician at Kitano Hospital, emphasized that while most post-COVID symptoms improve over time, there are no established diagnostic and treatment methods for long COVID. Patients often receive symptomatic therapy while undergoing tests to rule out other causes. The duration and severity of COVID aftereffects can vary among individuals, affecting anyone who has been infected with the coronavirus.

Research, such as a study led by Dr. Akiko Iwasaki from Yale University, has shed light on physical changes occurring in the bodies of long COVID patients. The study revealed reductions in cortisol levels, changes in immune-related substances, increased lymphocytes, and the reactivation of the herpes virus in these individuals. These findings suggest that the lingering symptoms are not solely psychological but are linked to physical alterations caused by the presence of the novel coronavirus and herpes virus in the body.