February 2023 Newsletter

An illustration containing medical symbols.

Published February 1, 2023

Paxlovid: Q&A


A recent article from The Buffalo News investigates the use of Paxlovid, an antiviral medication, and its benefits for those diagnosed with COVID. One study shows that taking Paxlovid within five days of active infection were 26% less likely to develop long COVID symptoms.

Q: Do mild cases of COVID warrant treatment with Paxlovid?

A: Many experts agree that in most cases, taking Paxlovid as treatment should be considered even for mild cases. Paxlovid is known to reduce the severity of illness and even lower the risk of developing long-term symptoms such as chronic fatigue, muscle pain, kidney disease, heart disease, blood clotting problems and neurocognitive impairments.

A physician holds a box containing Paxlovid.

Q: What are the benefits of taking Paxlovid?

A: Research has shown that Paxlovid can offer benefits for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, those who are experiencing their first infection and those who have had a reinfection. There is evidence to support that Paxlovid may provide the same benefit against long-term symptoms.

Q: There has been speculation that taking Paxlovid can cause a rebound, or recurrence, of COVID symptoms compared to those who don't. Is this true?

A: Several studies support that there is very little difference in the rate of rebounds among those who take Paxlovid and those who don't.

Experimental Treatment Opportunity

A research study led by Thomas J. Guttuso Jr., MD, at UBMD Neurology in Williamsville, NY is now open for enrollment. You may be eligible for this opportunity if you meet the following criteria:

  • 18 to 80 years old
  • Tested positive for COVID-19
  • Experiencing fatigue and/or brain fog for more than four weeks post COVID-19 infection
  • Has not used tobacco or marijuana products for more than six months
  • Not pregnant or planning to get pregnant over the next five weeks
  • Live within a two-hour drive to Buffalo

If you are interested, call Guttuso at (716) 829-5454 for more information.

Long COVID in the News

Kaiser Family Foundation

New information from the CDC shows that among those who have had COVID, the percentage of those with long COVID is declining. The percentage of people who have had COVID and currently report long COVID symptoms declined from 19% in June of 2022 to 11% in January of 2023. Among those who have ever had long COVID, over half are no longer reporting symptoms; however, long COVID rates are still exceptionally high. 

The Washington Post

Experts say the extreme fatigue experienced by many long covid patients is identified as myalgic encephalomyelitis, a condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome. An estimated half of long covid sufferers have developed chronic fatigue syndrome. A lifestyle change called “pacing” may help manage some of the long covid symptoms. Pacing is an “activity management” strategy, requiring people to carefully limit their daily activities, reduce their energy expenditure and track their symptoms. Although difficult to implement, patients have seen results from practicing pacing.

Western New York UBCoV Community Report

The UBCoV research team has collected a variety of information from the Western New York Community.

See the facts below for a community snapshot of 550 long COVID registry participants:

1. The average age of participants is 51 years

The majority of participants (68%) are age 45 and older. Anyone older than age 18 is encouraged to participate in the long COVID registry.

2. 74% of participants are female

There is a 3:1 male-to-female ratio in those who have participated in the long COVID registry thus far. All are encouraged to share their experience with long COVID regardless of age and gender.

3. One out of five participants reside in the City of Buffalo

We have received responses from all across Western New York including the City of Buffalo, Williamsville/Amherst, Kenmore/Tonawanda, Lockport, Orchard Park, Niagara Falls, and more. We have received many responses from Buffalo's surrounding areas including Rochester, Jamestown, Olean, and Youngstown. The long COVID registry aims to collect information from all across Western New York.

4. The five most common symptoms are consistent with other research studies

  • Brain fog (the most common symptom)
  • Fatigue with exertion
  • Fatigue at rest
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Memory problems

The symptoms listed above are the most commonly reported symptoms of participants in the long COVID registry. These local findings align with other long COVID research studies and their most commonly reported symptoms of long COVID patients. 

Register Today

If you had COVID-19 and would like to participate, enter the registry and begin filling out the questionnaire.

If you have already participated, feel free to share with others who may be interested.

Additional Questions?

Contact us: (716) 382 - 1808 / ubcov@buffalo.edu