Has COVID changed the odds of going long?

(NEXSTAR) – Nearly three years after the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned a lot about the virus and have developed vaccines and antiviral treatments that make it less likely for most people to catch it. But one aspect of the virus that remains frustratingly mysterious and frightening to many is:long covid

Long COVID is a broad term for complications that can last for weeks, months, or even years. Some people have shortness of breath, while others lose their sense of smell and taste. Some people suffering from the prolonged experience of COVID are experiencing debilitating fatigue and brain fog.

But as time goes on, the likelihood of a prolonged COVID-19 appears to decrease, new research suggests.

Dr. Michael Gottlieb of Rush University Medical Center said: Co-led a recent study on persistent symptoms of COVID.

The study found that people were more likely to suffer long-term symptoms if they contracted COVID during the “pre-delta period” compared to the delta and ohmic waves in 2021 and 2022. , the difference has nothing to do with variants. It has to do with vaccination and repeated infections.

Dr. David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, said, “On average, subsequent infections with the same virus are somewhat milder, and it is generally accepted that the risk of causing long-term COVID symptoms is somewhat lower. I agree. of public health.

Dowdy explained that on average, someone’s second or third COVID infection is less severe than their first, although there are exceptions. If he can get over COVID in a few days at home with bed rest, it’s unlikely the problem will last for months. On the other hand, if she were admitted to her ICU with COVID-19 or another virus, she would likely have a long road to recovery.

It is not just repeated infections that reduce the likelihood of long-term transmission of COVID. Studies have shown that vaccination plays an important role. People who are vaccinated are less likely to have COVID longer, even if they experience a breakthrough infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gottlieb said his study also suggests that vaccination reduces long-term COVID risk across variants.

“The odds are down, but they’re not down for pure time. They’re down because of what we’ve done,” Gottlieb said. , that risk can be mitigated, and long-term risk because more people are getting vaccinated or have had COVID previously and have some basic immunity in place is reduced.”

Despite the odds going in the right direction, many people are still suffering from the COVID bouts they had years ago. It is estimated that at least 65 million people around the world are suffering from long-term COVID-19. Research published last month.

“Over time, the incidence of this complication has definitely decreased, but with so many people contracting COVID, a huge number of people still suffer from long-term symptoms. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which led: “So there’s good news and bad news in that statistic.” Has COVID changed the odds of going long?

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