New research suggests 4 factors that may increase the risks of long Covid

That some patients reactivated Epstein-Barr virus also made sense, Dr. Nath said, because other illnesses have woken up this virus and its reactivation has been linked to conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome. , which some cases of long Covid look like, and multiple sclerosis. . Dr Deeks said it might be possible to give antivirals or immunotherapy to patients with reactivated Epstein-Barr virus.

There were other intriguing findings that experts said needed more evidence. One was a suggestion that because people with persistent breathing problems had low levels of the stress hormone cortisol, they might benefit from cortisol replacement therapy, which Dr Heath said that some doctors were already trying.

In another finding that he says could provide a way to document that patients’ neurological symptoms resulted from a long Covid, the blood of people with persistent neurological problems contained high levels of proteins associated with circadian rhythms and disturbed sleep/wake cycles.

One of the patients in the study’s main group was John Gillotte, 40, a software engineer who contracted the coronavirus in March 2020. He was on a ventilator for about six days, after which he went into a delirium at the hospital when he closed his eyes.

“I saw the devil, who was about 50ft tall, screaming at me, throwing limbs he had dismembered at other people,” recalls Mr Gillotte, who later got a tattoo of an image of the demon. on his right arm, with depictions of hell below and heaven above to symbolize his progress from illness to recovery.

Mr. Gillotte, who moved from Seattle to Manhattan last year, said that for several months after his infection he experienced muscle weakness, lack of stamina, brain fog that interfered with his concentration at work, an altered sense of smell and the perception that most foods tasted like ashes.

He said that before Covid he had a spontaneous ability to visualize specific colors with certain foods – pink when sprinkled with pepper, blue with a type of alcohol – but now he is dismayed to have lost those connections automatic.

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