The fact that a British historian, an Italian archaeologist, and an American preschool teacher have a strong pandemic connection despite never having met in person.
The three ladies are credited for defining, naming, and helping bring extended COVID into the public’s knowledge in early 2020. They were all affected by strangely identical symptoms.
Late in March 2020, Rachel Pope of Liverpool turned to Twitter to detail her perplexing symptoms following a coronavirus illness. The phrase “long COVID” was first used in a tweet from Elisa Perego in Italy in May of that year. The trucker cap Amy Watson was wearing in Portland, Oregon, served as the inspiration for the name of her Facebook support group, and “long hauler” quickly entered the epidemic vernacular.
Nearly three years after the epidemic began, researchers are still attempting to understand why some individuals experience prolonged COVID and why a tiny percentage, like the three women, experience long-lasting symptoms.
Numerous symptoms of long-term COVID have been reported by millions of people throughout the world, including exhaustion, lung issues, brain fog, and other neurological ailments. Evidence indicates that the majority recover significantly within a year, but current statistics reveal that it has been linked to more than 3,500 fatalities in the United States.
Women At More Risk?
Women are more prone than males to acquire lengthy COVID, according to a number of studies and anecdotal data.
There may be biological explanations.
According to Sabra Klein, a Johns Hopkins scientist who specializes in immunity, women’s immune systems often produce higher responses to viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens.
Ailments in which the body erroneously assaults its own healthy cells are also considerably more common in women than in males. Long COVID, according to some experts, may be the result of an autoimmune reaction brought on by the virus.
A growing body of studies indicates that the coronavirus may hide in fat following infection since women’s bodies typically have greater fat tissue. Additionally, researchers are looking at whether the hazards may be raised by the erratic hormone levels in women.
Another contributing reason, according to Klein, is that women are more prone than males to seek medical attention and are frequently more aware of changes in their bodies.
Numerous studies imply that the pervasive Epstein-Barr virus may contribute to some lengthy COVID cases.
According to Dr. Timothy Henrich, a virus expert at the University of California, San Francisco, inflammation brought on by coronavirus infection can activate herpes viruses, which persist in the body after producing an acute illness.
One of these herpes viruses, the epstein-barr virus, is among the most prevalent; it is thought that 90% of Americans have it. The virus may result in mononucleosis or symptoms that are mistaken for the common cold.
In the blood of long-term COVID patients, especially those who are fatigued, Henrich and other researchers have discovered immunological markers suggesting Epstein-Barr reactivation.
Not all patients with long-term COVID have these indicators. Epstein-Barr may, however, be producing symptoms in individuals who do, but researchers believe additional research is required.
Additionally, while being unconfirmed, some experts think Epstein-Barr causes chronic fatigue syndrome, a disorder that has many characteristics with long-term COVID.