Almost 8 months have passed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic but people who are infected are not fully recovering. According to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 35% of the people diagnosed with covid19 haven’t fully recovered for two to three weeks after contracting the virus. One of the conditions that coronavirus patients are facing is called chronic fatigue syndrome which is a neuroimmune condition and has symptoms including severe fatigue, immune aberrations, brain fog, post-exertional malaise, and pain.
Chronic fatigue syndrome also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis can last for decades. A person usually develops this syndrome after contracting some viral infections like Ross River Virus or Epstein-Barr virus. Coronavirus is just another virus that can trigger the start of this debilitating condition.
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The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said people after clearing the virus are facing post-viral symptoms. He knows this because a lot of people call him and talk about their course. He said that it’s extraordinary how many people have a post-viral syndrome that is very similar to chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis.
CDC surveyed 292 people on post-COVID recoveries, those people reported a median of 7 symptoms out of CDC’s 17 symptoms. 35 percent of them reported fatigue and one in five people aged between 18 and 34 who didn’t have any chronic condition, reported that they haven’t recovered completely.
Chris Cuomo, a news anchor, is still struggling with symptoms months after he contracted the virus, he tested positive on the 31st of March. On July 14 he announced on his show that he had been suggested chronic fatigue syndrome as the reason due to which he hasn’t recovered. He said he has got brain fog and onset of clinical depression. People keep telling him to not be sad but he says he is not sad; he is depressed which are two different things.
Cuomo continued that he can’t recover from workouts as he did before. Failure in recovery from exercise is a trademark Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptom, according to a report by the National Academy of Medicine in 2015. The report also assessed that nearly 836,000 to 2.5 million people in the US suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and most of them are not diagnosed. According to the CDC, this syndrome is estimated to have an impact of 17 billion dollars to 24 billion dollars on the economy of the country, as most of the patients are not able to work.
Senior researcher at the University of Southampton, Dr. Michael Head said in a recent interview that at this stage very little is known about the long term effects of the virus and that a lot of people have reported feeling terrible even after months and this is going to be a big problem for health workers and policymakers going forward. According to him, there are lots of side effects and this virus can pretty much affect every organ in the body as it is a nasty virus and there is still lots to learn about it.