DETROIT – Why do some COVID patients continue to suffer from symptoms months after being infected?
A 4-year, $1 billion government study has been launched to find the answer to that question. They hope to determine why so-called “long haulers” are still suffering and what can be done to help them.
The National Institutes of Health wants to find out why survivor Stephanie Condra and millions of others are still battling persistent problems.
“The symptoms of this include fatigue, shortness of breath, sleep disorders, fevers, GI symptoms, anxiety and depression. And what some have been referring to as brain fog or an inability or a difficulty in concentrating or focusing,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
Fauci said that around 30 percent of the patients who are enrolled at the University of Washington reported persistent symptoms for as long as nine months after illness. Fatigue was the most common.
Many long-haulers were never sick enough to be hospitalized. The new study will try to answer questions that include what makes people vulnerable to suffering long-haul symptoms and what’s the underlying biological cause of the prolonged symptoms. And how should we be treating the symptoms?
Researchers also hope to determine if COVID-19 is triggering changes in the body that increase the risk of chronic heart or brain disorders down the road.