“Long Covid” has been a concern for epidemiologists for months. There has been speculation that the effects of Covid-19 can last for months after initial infection and are sometimes severely debilitating for those that have it. A study conducted by the US National Institute of Health has confirmed that Covid-19 can last for months after initial infection in many or all vital organs. The Daily Mail Reports–
“From brain fog to fatigue, many people with Covid-19 suffer from debilitating side effects for months after their infection, in a condition collectively referred to as long Covid.
While the reason for these symptoms has remained unclear until now, a new study could help to solve the mystery.
Researchers from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) claim that the virus can spread to the heart and brain within days, and survive in organs for months.
In their study, which is under review for publication in Nature, the researchers studied tissues taken during autopsies of 44 patients who had died after contracting coronavirus.
They found evidence that the virus had spread well beyond the respiratory tract, and was present in several other organs, including the heart and brain, as much as 230 days after infection.
‘Our results collectively show that while the highest burden of SARS-CoV-2 is in the airways and lung, the virus can disseminate early during infection and infect cells throughout the entire body, including widely throughout the brain,’ the team, led by Daniel Chertow wrote.”
While the study paints a bleak picture for those who get ‘long covid’, other research gives reasons to be optimistic. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have confirmed that Covid-19 immunity lasts years after initial infection, and may even last a lifetime.
“Overall, our data provide strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans robustly establishes the two arms of humoral immune memory: long-lived BMPCs and memory B cells,” the researchers noted. This is perhaps the best available evidence of long-lasting immunity, Radbruch and Chang explained, because this immunological memory is a distinct part of the immune system that’s essential to long-term protection, beyond the initial immune response to the virus”