Published March 1, 2023
The beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic motivated an unprecedented response from governments, international organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and society as a whole. Long COVID hasn't received the attention that it deserves and there is still a general lack of public awareness. Without specific treatments for long COVID, attention is falling on the prevention of COVID-19 and promoting vaccination. March 11, 2023 marked three years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.
The result of non-specific long COVID treatment has been widespread harm to health, societies, and economies. More is needed to support long COVID patients on a global scale.
The National Institutes of Health, and their establishment of “RECOVER: Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery,” is allowing long COVID patients to join researchers, clinicians, and experts in their mission to understand the mysteries of long COVID – what causes the condition, determining who is most at risk, and how to prevent and treat it.
What RECOVER has learned so far:
RECOVER is beginning to identify potential clinical trial sites nationwide. The design of these clinical trials will be critical to identify long COVID symptoms that have been the most significantly burdensome to patients.
Visit RecoverCOVID.org for more information about this effort.
For many long COVID patients, the care needed to manage their chronic illness has left them in medical debt. It’s unclear how many patients are being denied coverage, but recent findings estimate that individual medical costs of long COVID come to roughly $9,000 a year. Part of the problem, according to experts, is the ambiguity of long COVID and its symptoms. This leaves insurance companies denying claims for care because they don’t deem it as a “medical necessity.” The article from NBC News shares tips on how patients can improve their chances of insurance approving their claims by having a plan before entering the doctor’s office.
New research has found that those who have had COVID-19 are at higher risk of various gastrointestinal disorders within a year of their infection – including liver problems, acute pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux and ulcers. It is estimated that COVID-19 infections have contributed to 6 million new cases of gastrointestinal disorders in the United States. This new research shows that the gastrointestinal tract serves as a reservoir for the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 patients that were hospitalized had an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders compared to those who contracted the flu and were hospitalized, showing that contracting COVID-19 remains more serious than contracting the flu.
Toews is one of the first professional athletes to speak out about the struggles of long COVID.
“It has been really challenging to play through these symptoms […] In the last few weeks, it has reached the point where I had no choice but to step back and concentrate on getting healthy. I am thankful for the patience and support of my teammates, the coaching staff, and the entire Blackhawks organization."
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.
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