There’s new research that hints at four different factors that could increase your chances of getting long COVID-19 symptoms.
The news: A new study — published Tuesday in the medical journal Cell — identified four factors that can be found early in coronavirus infections.
- These factors are often seen in people who later developed long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms.
- In fact, the researchers said there’s a correlation between the factors and long-haul COVID, even if the infection was mild.
Quote: “It’s the first real solid attempt to come up with some biologic mechanisms for long Covid,” said Dr. Steven Deeks, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told The New York Times.
Why it matters: “They’ve identified these four major factors,” Deeks said. “Each is biologically plausible, consistent with theories that other people are pursuing, and importantly, each is actionable. If these pathways get confirmed, we as clinicians can actually design interventions to make people better. That is the take-home message.”
Details: The four factors were listed as such:
- The viral load in one’s blood.
- The presence of certain autoantibodies, which are often used to combat the virus and its symptoms.
- The reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus, which has been known to infect people at a young age.
- The patient has Type 2 diabetes.
What’s next: Researchers want to do more research into long COVID-19 so they can determine the criteria to know who is suffering from the illness, NBC News reports.
- “These individuals might have a disadvantage from the start,” said Dr. Onur Boyman, a researcher in the department of immunology at University Hospital Zurich, according to NBC News, “and then due to their asthmatic background, they might also react slightly differently to viruses, which then leads to a misguided immune response.”