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Full Version: Is there any data on long-haulers?
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So after learning a week ago a friend and his family all had Covid, and learning a few days ago my cousin in LA (and her husband) have Covid, I also now learned another cousin who lives in Fresno County caught it in August. The most troubling thing I heard about his case is that even now, 4 months later, he is suffering from myalgia. He is in his 40s and has fitness requirements for his job.

Also the first person I knew of who had Covid (who contacted us because our kids had had a play date in late February) is very wary of Covid because she had long-lasting symptoms even though her case was considered "mild" (and she is a slender, active person I'd guess in her thirties).

Is there any data on how common it is to a be long hauler? By long hauler, I mean people with difficulty breathing, difficulty exercising, body pain, or difficulty thinking/working for months and months afterwards.

If someone never goes to the hospital, but has myalgia for months afterwards, is it categorized as a "mild case that resolved at home?"

And the biggest question for me -- so far, the Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford vaccines have all touted themselves as having no severe cases -- a 100% protection against severe Covid (I think 1 person in the Pfizer study had blood o2 < 95% but went home and recovered). But are they tracking long-lasting "long-haulers" in the vaccine studies? TO what degree are the vaccines preventing symptoms that didn't require hospitalization but that could last for months? I suppose the efficacy rates (which test for any symptoms) cover this. If 95% fewer people vaccinated with Moderna have ANY symptoms, then that 95% couldn't be long-haulers. But what about that 5%? Were they equally likely, less likely, or even more likely to be long haulers? Is this tracked? What if they were all long-haulers? Or what if the vaccines also protected against long-haul symptoms equally at close to 100%? That would be important to know.

Because I'd consider the Oxford vaccine (if it turns out it's not causing transverse myelitis) with its 70% efficacy and 100% protection against severe cases, IF it protects well against long-haul symptoms. BUT if vaccinated people are still experiencing long-haul symptoms just as severely as non-vaccinated, and the Moderna vaccine has 95% efficacy against all cases and long-haul symptoms vs. 70% with the Oxford vaccine, that's a big difference.

Do we know how the vaccines perform against long-haul symptoms? Will we know, and if so, when?
Good summary of long-haulers...

With this caveat...

Quote:Long COVID is neither well-defined nor well understood, in part because the research base is still in its infancy. The term “long hauler” is broadly used to characterize individuals whose symptoms persist or develop outside the initial viral infection, but the duration and pathogenesis are unknown. Late sequelae have been described even in young, healthy people who had mild initial infection. And symptoms are often described by long haulers as being relapsing and remitting in nature—they improve, only to be struck back down again.

They referenced the following study...

Quote:One of the largest surveys so far, the King’s College London study, had four million users in the U.K. enter their ongoing symptoms on a smartphone app. The researchers reported that around 10 percent of patients had persistent symptoms for one month, with 1.5 to 2 percent having sustained symptoms at three months. As Hendrich suggests, this idea of “how many” is a moving target that will require more study and analysis.

Remember that these vaccines were tested as quickly as possible.  I think Moderna was only 100 days from start of phase 3 to the end.  And, with so few in the vaccine arm getting any cases, any long-haulers would be unlikely in the trials.