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Scientists claim new illnesses emerging years later is lasting impact of COVID

Summarised by Centrist

A recent study in Nature Medicine revealed that even mild COVID infections can lead to significant health issues like irritable bowel syndrome, mini-strokes, and pulmonary scarring up to three years after the initial illness. 

This isn’t just about “long COVID”; the findings suggest that new, seemingly unrelated health conditions can develop long after recovery.

The study analysed millions of Veterans Affairs health records. 

Results suggest that those who had mild COVID were more likely to experience gastrointestinal, neurological, and pulmonary problems three years later than those who never had COVID. For those hospitalised with severe COVID, the risks were even higher. 

Dr Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez of the University of Texas Health Science Center and Dr Ziyad Al-Aly of the VA St. Louis Health Care System point to the role of chronic inflammation triggered by infections as a possible cause. While the exact mechanisms are still under investigation, the impact of lingering inflammation on the body could explain the emergence of these new health problems.

Although some health risks diminish after three years, the findings underscore the importance of monitoring long-term health following COVID.

COVID’s ability to disrupt the immune system more severely than other viruses suggests that its long-term effects are unprecedented. 

Editor’s note: The researchers made no attempt to determine whether the COVID vaccine had any role in their findings.

Read more over at the Wall Street Journal

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