Long Covid — The Next Challenge
It is estimated that around 10% of people who develop Covid will have persistent symptoms, at times, for months after the initial illness.
A study of 2320 people who were hospitalized for Covid demonstrated after 12 months only one in four had fully recovered. This was even more concerning in people who were obese or those that required a ventilator during hospitalisation. Clearly, if you did not make it to hospital, the chance of developing long Covid was not as great.
The bottom line here is, the more severe the disease, the greater chance of developing long Covid. In the initial stages of Covid, in those people who developed an illness serious enough for hospitalization, what is felt to occur is an excessive stimulation of the immune system, and also, excessive clotting. This hyper-inflammation leads the release of the number of immune chemicals, typically cytokines and combined with the excessive clotting, can damage the blood vessels and other tissues in many organs.
The typical symptoms of long Covid are fatigue, brain fog and shortness of breath. But, loss of sense of smell and taste, generalized aches and pains and potentially permanent damage to the lungs, the cardiovascular system, brain [also leading to mental health issues], kidney disease and diabetes, have all been described as a consequence of long Covid.
Thus, with all of these serious chronic consequences, medical science is looking for answers. It has been shown in the number of cases that vaccination may improve some of the symptoms of long Covid.
Since the release of the two effective antiviral agents, Molnupiravir and Paxlovid, there has been occasional case reports of improvement, even if these agents were used long after developing Covid. Typically, these antiviral agents need to be used within five days of the onset of symptoms of Covid but hopefully they may be effective for long Covid as well.
Interestingly, a recent study assessed 55 patients with long Covid using a novel monoclonal antibody, Leronlimab, that affects the cytokine system showing some improvement in symptoms in some of the treated patients. Cytokines are a group of small proteins released by certain white cells, typically macrophages & lymphocytes. Cytokines are very important in the body’s reaction to infection.
The best message for all diseases is, no doubt, that prevention is better than cure and although it is impossible to prevent Covid in all cases, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and body weight, having an appropriate vaccination schedule and supplementing with vitamins that may assist the immune system, in my opinion, are key factors in preventing or at least minimizing the effects of Covid.
Until the pandemic settles, it is my suggestion that we take the following combination
Vitamin C-1 gm twice daily
Vitamin D-1000 I.U. two capsules daily
Krill-1000 mg daily.
To many, this will seem excessive but there are some studies that these combinations do help with Covid and hopefully will also help in preventing potential for long Covid.
We all look forward to the day when Covid is a distant memory.