Tall Covid patients ‘horrified’ by Omicron

Emerging research about Omicron so far is cautiously reassuring: despite its ability to spread at a dizzying rate, the disease it causes appears to be milder overall, at least among those vaccinated and those receiving booster shots. it occurs.

And although the variant can certainly cause serious illness and death, new studies have shown that it is much less likely to make people sick enough to be hospitalized than the delta variant.

Full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic

However, such encouraging data is meaningless for people with long-term COVID-19: those with symptoms ranging from months to more than a year after their initial infection.

“You may have a mild case,” said Laurie Bedell, 42, of Pittsburgh. “But most people who have had Covid for a long time were mild cases.”

She caught the virus in December 2020 and continued to have debilitating pain, fatigue and other symptoms, which have transformed her from a healthy, physically active woman into a chronically ill person who is unable to walk or walk 5 to 10 days. Doesn’t do any type of exercise for more than a minute. on time.

Bedell said he and others have long been afraid to leave their homes amid the spread of COVID-19 with Omicron. The version became the most influential in the United States within weeks of its identification, surpassing the “hypertransmissible” Delta version.

“I’m scared,” she said. “I don’t know if I will survive another infection.”

Re-infection appears to be a real concern. A study released this week from Public Health Scotland found that the majority of omicron cases in the country are actually among those already infected, accounting for more than 10 times the number of delta-linked re-infections.

The founder and co-director of the UNC COVID Recovery Clinic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dr. John Baratta said people with long-term covid have “good reason to be concerned, unfortunately.”

“We have seen people in our clinic who have been re-infected with covid among other forms,” he said. “They have new or worsening prolonged COVID symptoms after re-infection.”

Will Omicron lead to Covid in the long run?

Whether the Omicron type of infection will cause Covid for a long time is unknown. About this type is known to science for almost a month; It was first identified in November in southern Africa. So, it is too early to see how it will perform in the coming months.

Even so, there is no evidence that Omicron would behave differently than previous variants. The symptoms of COVID persisted for a long time at the start of the pandemic, and have continued to do so through Delta.

Medical director of Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Activity Rehabilitation Program in Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. Omicron’s apparent tendency to cause less severe disease may provide a false sense of security, Greg Vanichkachorn said.

“More than three-quarters of our patients had very mild illnesses and then developed long-lasting covids,” he said.

The implications of a fast-spreading variant like Omicron’s are significant. A recent study by Penn State College of Medicine estimated that more than half of people with COVID will have symptoms for at least six months after infection.

As of December 23, more than 51 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID.

A ‘very delicate time’

For many people with longstanding covids, the threat of omicron coincides with a time of year that is already difficult: yet another holiday season that may not include family and friends.

“This is happening at a very delicate time for many patients,” Vanichkachorn said. What’s more, “many of our patients are approaching their one-year anniversary from their initial infection.”

He recently noted greater feelings of depression, anxiety and hopelessness in his patients. Linking Omicron’s threat has been “doubly difficult for these individuals,” he said.

“The best gift we can give this year is cordiality and support about this situation.”

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