FOR OUR LONG COVID READERS FROM JOHNS HOPKINS CITATIONS:
1. LONG COVID Ongoing studies are helping to better characterize and determine the prevalence of so-called long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC). In a study published in PLOS Medicine, researchers led by scientists with the University of Oxford conducted a retrospective cohort study based on linked electronic health records (EHRs) data from 81 million patients including 273,618 COVID-19 survivors, primarily in the US, and included 114,449 patients with influenza as a control. The researchers found that nearly 37% of COVID-19 patients studied reported having at least 1 or more features of long COVID between 3 and 6 months after their initial diagnosis, a higher percentage than the 10%-30% reported in previous studies and significantly higher than after influenza. The most commonly reported symptoms included abnormal breathing; fatigue; chest, throat, or other pain; headache; abdominal symptoms; and anxiety or depression. While lingering symptoms occurred more frequently among people who had more severe acute COVID-19, including those who were hospitalized, and older individuals, the researchers stressed that people who had mild disease and children and young adult survivors also experienced long COVID.
In a study published September 29 in JAMA Network Open, researchers interviewed 2,433 COVID-19 patients who were discharged from 2 hospitals in Wuhan, China, between February 12 and April 10, 2020. Notably, 45% of patients reported at least 1 symptom at 1-year follow-up, with the most common symptoms being fatigue, sweating, chest tightness, anxiety, and muscle pain. Patients who experienced more severe COVID-19 cases and who were older were more likely to have at least 3 lingering symptoms. In yet another study, posted to the preprint server medRxiv, researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 infection, even mild cases, could reduce gray matter thickness in the brain, possibly contributing to long-term neurological damage. Taken together, the studies highlight the fact that the health impacts from COVID-19 extend far beyond the acute phase, and contribute more knowledge about the risk of long COVID, for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, that could help identify those at greatest risk, plan necessary ongoing health services support, and help develop treatments for the condition.
AND IN THE “EVEN A BLIND HOG GATHERS A FEW ACORNS” SCHOOL NEWS FROM CALIFORNIA:
California plans to add the Covid vaccine as a requirement to attend school as early as next fall.
(J. Harris: I agree with this mandate; Covid is at least as important to prevent as Measles and Chicken Pox, although probably less lethal than Polio and Diptheria.)
And last but not leased: CHEER UP. WE’RE GETTING THERE.
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