MEDSCAPE – As officials scramble to get vaccines and protective gear to the public, scientists are working overtime to gain knowledge of the long-term effects of COVID-19, said Anthony Fauci, MD, during a wide-ranging briefing at the White House.
“Many of you are now aware of what had long been called ‘long COVID,’ ” said Fauci, the White House COVID-19 Response Team’s chief medical adviser.
“But actually, what that really is is post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which we’re now referring to as ‘PASC,’ or P-A-S-C.”
He noted that the National Institutes of Health launched an initiative yesterday to further study the phenomenon, which Fauci called “alarming” and “puzzling.”
He stressed that even patients with moderate cases of the infection can develop PASC.
fatigue; gastrointestinal problems; “brain fog,” or an inability to focus; depression; anxiety; sleep difficulties; and, in extreme cases, impaired lung capacity.
“New symptoms sometimes arise well after the time of infection, or they evolve over time and persist for months,” Fauci continued.
“They can range from mild or annoying to actually quite incapacitating.”
He referred to a study from researchers at the University of Washington that was published online February 19 in JAMA Network Open. In that study, more than 30% of the 177 participants reported symptoms that persisted for up to 9 months.
“It’s very difficult to treat something when you don’t know what the target of that treatment is,” Fauci said.
“There are a lot of important questions with this series of initiatives that we will ultimately answer” …
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