Even More on Long COVID


person in hospital gown and gloves juggling covid virus graphics and an earth

Even though COVID is no longer a national emergency, people continue to get Long COVID and many stay sick.  A study using MRI imaging has shown that six months after infection, about 60 percent of people who were hospitalized had abnormal findings in their lungs, brains and other organs.   

Another study showed that these organs and the liver and heart in unhospitalized patients had abnormalities three times higher. We don’t know the long-term health impacts.  Data tells us that long COVID impacts Hispanics more and women are hit harder than men as well as girls than boys.   

Despite beliefs that antiviral treatment with Paxlovid reduced the chances Long COVID, research shows the incidence of adults with or without Paxlovid treatment were both at about fifteen percent.  And a little over a quarter of patients on Paxlovid reported rebound infections.    

A big study of the VA medical database and more than ten million records show Long COVID causes persistent GI issues in the year after infection.  And recovering COVID patients had higher levels of diarrhea, constipation, vomiting and bloating.  They were also more than one-third more likely to develop reflux disease and more than half were predisposed to irritable bowel syndrome.   

We’ll need to expand our understanding of how Long COVID causes these problems and how to prevent or treat them. For now, the best thing to do is keep yourself from getting COVID and get your vaccine. 

We are Drs. David Niesel and Norbert Herzog, at UTMB and Quinnipiac University, where biomedical discoveries shape the future of medicine.   For much more and our disclaimer go to medicaldiscoverynews.com or subscribe to our podcast. Sign up for expanded print episodes at www.illuminascicom.com or our podcasts at:  Medical Discovery News (buzzsprout.com) 

More Information

Months after hospitalization for COVID-19, MRIs reveal multiorgan damage
Largest study of its kind finds various abnormalities—but no lingering heart problems

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Paxlovid May Not Be Associated With Lower Long COVID Risk, Survey Suggests
One in five of treated with the agent reported rebound COVID symptoms, researchers found