COVID Long Haulers vs FM & ME/CFS.

Since the onset of COVID19 virus, an new post-viral condition has occured in a significant amount of the population.. It’s believed that   up to 60 percent of people who have recovered still have persistent symptoms up to four months later. These people have called themselves “COVID19 Long Haulers.”

With almost 7 million people in the US who have been tested positive, the forecast of what recovery might look like is troubling. Typically, from onset to clinical recovery ranges from two to six weeks, but there  those experiencing symptoms months after infection.  Which could potentially mean over 4 million people could experience ongoing post-viral symptoms.

Symptoms reported include ongoing crushing fatigue, joint pain, chest pain, general body aches, brain fog with problems both with memory and concentration causing confusion & frustration, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, hair loss, visual impairments, sensitivity to lights and sounds, tingling sensations,  reduced exercise tolerance,  tinnitus, (ringing ears) and chills & sweats,  Anecdotally, some people have reported feeling better for days or weeks before relapsing or ‘flaring’  with old or new symptoms.. 

COVID-19 has potentially significant ongoing Neurological & Physical Issues in the long term for up to 60% of those who were positive for this virus.

This set of symptoms is consistent with both Fibromyalgia(FM) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(ME/CFS), fitting best with the later. ME/CFS is believed to be caused as a result of a post-viral reaction..If it weren’t for the cough & shortness of breath, it could have easily been either of these conditions, but more likely the later.

Those experiencing this post-viral condition share a common perception that their symptoms are blatantly dismissed by medical professionals as symptoms, often described as shortness of breath or tingling sensations, are frequently labeled as psychological complaints.

The current 1-2.4 million people in the US and up to 30 million worldwide can empathize with how the medical establishment is treating these people. 

Patients with ME/CFS have been also fighting to be heard, and have so for many years.. With so little information available on this condition, it had been considered a psychological issue not a physician or neurological disease that it has since been determined to be.  Many doctors are still.under-educated on ME/CFS,  still believing it to be psychological and dismiss patients out of hand when test results come back negative.  Those with more updated information believe that Graduated Exercise Therapy (GET) is the expected course of action, but it had been determined that it only aggravated the condition making it worse.  Very few physicians know what ME/CFS is, let alone how to try to treat it. 

So, COVID19 Long Haulers could have a variation of ME/CFS..  To them, I suggest they get in line behind those with ME/CFS because if this post-viral condition does in fact prove to be ME/CFS, it could only help. If not, it is likely a sibling condition where the research can help aswell. 

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