Women Are More Likely Than Men to Report Lingering Covid Symptons Study

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Women Are More Likely Than Men to Report Lingering Covid Symptons Study” – below is their description.

    The downslope of the Covid crisis is proving to be its own bumpy ride — and there’s no telling yet how long it will last. We’ve learned a tremendous amount about the disease itself, but in terms of grasping the impact of lingering post-Covid Syndrome, or Long Covid as it’s often called, we’re just getting started.

    As hospital admissions from Covid decline, clinics dealing with post-Covid effects are being flooded with demand and questions around treatment are proliferating. Addressing the problem will require more resources at a time when health-care systems are tapped out. That’s hard in the U.K., where hospital executives say they will have to cut back services if the Treasury can’t find more funds than what Chancellor Rishi Sunak put in last week’s budget.

    So far, research into Long Covid has suffered from various limitations, such as small sample sizes or truncated follow-up periods. Even so, the emerging picture is stark.

    Britain’s Office for National Statistics estimates that 23.6% of females with Covid-19 and 20.7% of males continued to experience symptoms five weeks after they tested positive for the virus. Nearly 10% had symptoms 12 weeks later.

    More than 117 million people around the world have been infected with Covid-19. If at least one in 10 experience symptoms that persist for weeks or months after the virus has left their body, that’s a lot of disability, however temporary. The reported symptoms list is too long to publish here but includes fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog, muscle aches, stomach illness and heart palpitations. Long Covid doesn’t care if you’re young or super fit or just had a mild case of the virus.

    At University College London Hospital, the clinic for post-Covid treatment is a multidisciplinary team involving respiratory, cardiology and neurology specialists, as well as occupational therapists and psychologists. It is struggling to keep up with demand, says Melissa Heightman, a respiratory physician and clinical lead. Only about one-third of their non-hospitalized patients with post-Covid illnesses have recovered fully, she says. “I think we’re at the worst moment, because we are facing the second wave needing follow up. The referrals at the clinics are twice the number we can cope with.”

    The problem isn’t only the number of patients struggling with Long Covid; it’s also that there is still much we don’t know about how to treat the condition that is complex and can affect different systems of the body

    Doctors treating post-Covid patients find sharing experiences invaluable. Steroids, antihistamines and Vitamin D have been shown to help reduce symptoms in some cases. Some patients are put on beta-blockers to control their elevated heart rate; a common treatment for gout has helped improve chest pain in some patients. Rest seems a universal protocol, whereas exercise can lead to a relapse. Researchers and patients (sometimes one and the same) exchange experiences, hope and exasperation on Facebook groups, Twitter and other social media.

    Needless to say, there’s plenty of unscientific advice going around too. When Gwyneth Paltrow, founder of the lifestyle brand Goop, suffered “long-tail fatigue and brain fog” after her bout with Covid-19, she was recommended a program of “intuitive fasting,” which includes fasting until 11 a.m. every day and eating a keto and plant-based diet, by leading “functional medicine practitioner” Will Cole, who isn’t a medical doctor.

    Paltrow was so happy with the results that she wrote about it in her blog, but the details (including regular use of an infrared sauna) set off alarm bells in the medical community. “We wish her well, but some of the solutions she’s recommending are really not the solutions we’d recommend in the NHS,” said Stephen Powis, medical director of the National Health Service in England.

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    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

    Latest News about Covid-19

    Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

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