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Scientists propose definition based on key symptoms

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  • Federally-funded scientists have proposed a long-term definition of novel coronavirus based on symptoms identified in a large study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • The definition is based on the 12 most important symptoms that distinguish people with long-term COVID-19 from those without it.
  • There is not yet a systematic, widely accepted definition of 2019-nCoV for research, and it may be the basis for future 2019-nCoV diagnostic tools.
  • The study is part of a massive $1.15 billion NIH research initiative aimed at defining long-term COVID-19, understanding the causes of symptoms, and developing treatments.

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scientists funded by federal government They proposed a long-term definition of novel coronavirus based on symptoms identified in a large study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The definition is based on 12 symptoms that differentiate between people who have had COVID-19 for more than six months after infection and those who have not.

Since the very early days of the pandemic, many people have suffered a myriad of, and sometimes debilitating, symptoms that linger long after contracting COVID-19.

The patient adopted the long Covid name. Scientists call this condition acute sequelae or PASC.

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However, there is not yet a systematic, universally accepted definition of long-term coronaviruses for research that could form the basis of future tools for diagnosing 2019-nCoV infection.

“We’re trying to come up with a specific, reproducible definition of the long-lasting novel coronavirus,” said study author Dr. Leora Horwitz, professor of medicine at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study tested nearly 10,000 participants in 85 hospitals, health centers, and community centers in 33 states.

More than 8,600 patients with COVID-19 were compared with more than 1,100 without the virus.

The study is part of a massive $1.15 billion NIH research initiative aimed at defining long-term COVID-19, understanding what causes its symptoms, and developing treatments for it. What is recovery Studying COVID-19 to Accelerate Recovery.

Among participants with long-term COVID-19, the most prominent symptoms included loss of smell and taste, post-exercise malaise, chronic cough, foggy head, thirst, heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, and libido. changes, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, and abnormalities. movement and hair loss.

Scientists assigned scores based on how well each symptom distinguished long-term COVID-19 sufferers from participants who were uninfected.

Participants with 12 points or more are considered to have a high probability of long-term infection with the new coronavirus.

For example, loss of smell and taste and post-exercise malaise stood out more than other symptoms, with scores of 8 and 7, respectively. Palpitations and dizziness, which are long-lasting hallmarks of COVID-19 but are common with many other symptoms, scored 2 and 1 points, respectively.

The study’s author, Horwitz, said the proposed definition of long corona could help doctors develop ways to diagnose patients.

However, Professor Horwitz said the definition presented in the study is an early-stage, practical definition that still needs to be refined and is not yet ready for clinical use.

In the absence of a universally accepted definition, many long-term COVID-19 patients are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic because some symptoms are common to other diseases, which can make diagnosis difficult. struggles to get adequate medical care in the early stages of

There is no test that can diagnose long-term coronavirus based on markers in the blood. Scientists participating in RECOVER are trying to understand the underlying biology that causes long-lasting COVID-19, and such tests may be conducted in the future. .

Horwitz said the proposed definition could help create a rubric for diagnosing long-term COVID-19 patients in a manner similar to lupus. There is no single blood test that can diagnose lupus, so doctors also rely on a common set of symptoms to determine if a patient has the disease.

Horwitz said the goals could be used to answer questions about risk factors, how likely it is to have repeated COVID-19 infections, to be transmitted between different variants of the virus, and other issues. said to provide researchers with a more systematic definition.

Biosamples from patients who developed COVID-19 for a long time during the study could be used to investigate the cause of their symptoms, find treatments, or guide enrollment in future clinical trials, according to the study. It is said that it may be useful for

The study also found that long-lasting COVID-19 infections were more common among infected individuals before the Omicron variant swept the United States in December 2021.

Approximately 17% of patients enrolled more than 30 days after infection in Omicron developed long-term coronavirus. In contrast, about 35% of those infected before the Omicron era developed long-lasting COVID-19.

However, patients reinfected during Omicron were more likely to develop long-lasting novel coronavirus than those who reported a single infection when the variant was booming. About 21% of repeat infections who enrolled after 30 days developed COVID-19 for a long time, compared with 16% of those who had been infected with COVID-19 once.

People who were fully vaccinated were less likely to develop COVID-19 for a long time, regardless of when they became infected.

About 16% of previously vaccinated participants who were infected during Omicron developed long-term COVID-19 disease, compared to 22% of those who were not vaccinated. Before Omicron, 31% of people who were vaccinated and infected developed long-term COVID-19, compared to 37% of those who were not vaccinated.

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