Long COVID expert: Not much is being done to help patients

Not enough is being done to help patients with long-term COVID symptoms, says Dr. Eric Topol, a senior author of a recent review article published in Nature Reviews Microbiology.

According to researchers, at least 65 million people worldwide suffer from long-term COVID. Symptoms include heart problems, blood clots, fatigue, difficulty breathing, autoimmune disorders, and even diabetes.

But not much has been done to help patients experiencing long-term COVID, Topol says.

“I wish we had these answers,” he told Yahoo. “At the moment we have a lot of mechanisms and a shortage of treatment. That’s the summary of everything.”

The paper, which includes more than 200 peer-reviewed studies, suggests there are likely multiple, possibly overlapping, causes of long-term COVID.

“Mechanistic studies are generally at an early stage and while work building on existing research on post-viral diseases such as ME/CFS [myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome] has put forward a number of theories, there are still many questions that are a priority to address,” it read.

A higher prevalence of long COVID has been reported in certain ethnicities, including those of Hispanic or Latino descent.

Topol said patients know more than doctors about long-term COVID.

“There’s no way of that. Unfortunately, today there are too many people who have bona fide long COVID, who are suffering — they go to a doctor and the doctor will just reject it,” he told NPR.

“And where there are long COVID clinics, they are oversubscribed and difficult to get into. So the lack of medical communities dealing with this inconvenient truth – we need to get over that. We must support these people. We’ “We need to come up with better treatments. And what can’t be stressed enough, there’s only one way to avoid long-term COVID, and that’s not getting COVID in the first place. And that’s another reason not to let our guard down. let it slacken as the pandemic and the virus continue to run its course.”

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