“The number of people who may have long COVID could be massive”
From the beginning of the pandemic, COVID’s long-term effects have been studied (read HERE). It has recently been asked whether the late effects of COVID-19 can be classified as an individual pathology, separate from the initial disease. Read about CDC’s Project Inspire.
In this regard, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its director Francis Collins, have also announced an initiative to assess adverse effects, which may occur weeks or even months after SARS-CoV-2 infection.
In the article published in Nature on February 23 (read the full article HERE), the NIH director also announced that it will spend $1.15 billion to launch a four-year project to investigate ” long COVID”, and listed the priorities that should be set for its study.
“9 months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, one-third of them were still reporting symptoms”
The main symptoms of ”long COVID-19” include fatigue, difficulty breathing, neurological problems, especially anxiety, depression and inability to concentrate; these can appear within a few weeks of infection and persist for months.
Some of the NIH Initiative’s main goals are to determine the biological basis of this condition, to analyze why some people are more vulnerable to it, and to find possible treatments.
Long COVID studies show that it could have a profound impact on public health
According to Francis Collins, “We do not know yet the magnitude of the problem, but given the number of individuals of all ages who have been or will be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the public health impact could be profound,” NIH director Francis Collins in the aforementioned article quote “A study1 of 177 people published last month determined that 9 months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, one-third of them were still reporting symptoms such as fatigue. This shows that with more than 115 million COVID-19 infections worldwide so far, the number of people with PASC could be massive.”