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WSJ: The New Clues About Who Will Develop Long Covid

re: Long-Haul COVID

Medical science is finally catching up to my hunches from 2020 that I made based on my own experience over the past 18 months.

WSJ: The New Clues About Who Will Develop Long Covid

2022-01-32, by Sumathi Reddy. Emphasis added.

Research is homing in on risk factors for developing long Covid, offering clues for potential treatments

...The variety of reasons one person might get long Covid and another might not also reinforce scientists’ increasing belief that there won’t be a single cause or treatment for the condition.


In a study published in the journal Cell, scientists identified four risk factors, for which scientists tested upon a patient’s initial diagnosis. The most prevalent one was the presence of certain autoantibodies, which are antibodies that mistakenly attack the body in autoimmune conditions such as lupus. Researchers found the autoantibodies in about 60% of the patients who developed long Covid.

Most patients didn’t have a diagnosed autoimmune disease, but rather had very low levels of autoantibodies associated with various autoimmune diseases, says Jim Heath, senior author on the study and president and professor of the Institute for Systems Biology, a nonprofit biomedical research organization in Seattle.

A second risk factor was reactivated Epstein-Barr virus. Epstein-Barr is what causes mononucleosis and infects about 90% of people. Normally, the virus remains dormant afterward. The study found that it was reactivated in some people who later developed long Covid.

“Your immune system is probably doing a reasonable job of keeping EBV in check and with a SARS-CoV-2 infection you lose that brake,” says Dr. Heath. “It seems to happen very early in an infection.”

...In a separate new study in Nature Communications, researchers from Switzerland found five different factors that they concluded will help predict who will develop long Covid... Other predictors included being older, a history of asthma, and symptoms of fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing and gastrointestinal issues during an acute Covid-19 infection. People who developed long Covid had on average three of those symptoms during their initial infection. [WIND: bingo for me, see below]


WIND: I can check off 3 of 4 factors discussed above:

  • Auto-antibodies (the emergence of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis as per thyroid peroxidase test of 220, 180, 200, 240), as well as 6 months of rheumatic athritis like symptoms, and skin rashes consistent with auto-immune (as per my doctor).
  • Reactivated Epstein-Barr virus as confirmed by lab tests (also HHV-6).
  • And 3-4 months of gastrointestinal problems that COVID kicked-off as its first symptom.

My mistake was going back to hard training within 4 weeks after the 2.5-week infection period.

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