By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
The Omicron variant is much less seemingly to offer you lengthy COVID than a earlier pressure of the virus, British researchers say.
What was described because the first peer-reviewed report to research Omicron and sufferers’ danger of persistent signs discovered 4.4% of Omicron circumstances resulted in lengthy COVID. That is effectively under the almost 11% related to the Delta variant, which was the dominant pressure of SARS-CoV-2 earlier within the pandemic, researchers mentioned.
However as a result of the Omicron variant is way extra contagious than Delta, extra folks get contaminated with Omicron and, due to this fact, extra expertise lengthy COVID, they added.
“We nonetheless have to maintain offering help for folks with lengthy COVID whereas we attempt to perceive why it happens and the way we are able to deal with it,” mentioned lead researcher Claire Steves, a senior scientific lecturer at Kings School London.
Lengthy COVID can embody a wide range of signs and final for weeks, months or, doubtlessly, years, affecting an individual’s high quality of life, in accordance with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Generally the signs can go away or come again.
They will embody fatigue, fever, malaise, bother respiratory, cough, chest ache, coronary heart palpitations and dizziness. Individuals can even have foggy considering, despair, nervousness, complications and sleep issues, in addition to lack of odor and style. Diarrhea, abdomen ache, muscle ache, rash and modifications within the menstrual cycle are additionally attainable.
For the research, Steves and her colleagues used the U.Ok.-based ZOE COVID Symptom research app to gather information on 56,000 folks contaminated with the Omicron pressure. They had been in contrast with greater than 41,000 folks contaminated with the Delta pressure.
The upshot: Odds of getting lengthy COVID had been 20% to 50% decrease with Omicron than Delta. The chances had been depending on a affected person’s age and time since vaccination.
Infectious illness knowledgeable Dr. Marc Siegel, a scientific professor of medication at NYU Langone Medical Heart in New York Metropolis, mentioned lengthy COVID might be extra widespread than realized.
“[Omicron] would not trigger as a lot deep lung infections, however it’s additionally true that there is immune safety from the vaccine and former infections to some extent,” he mentioned.
It follows that if circumstances are much less extreme, there will not be as a lot lengthy COVID, mentioned Siegel, who reviewed the findings.
“That is my private expertise,” he mentioned. “In my observe, I by no means see anybody with lack of odor and style anymore.”
Nonetheless, Siegel predicts COVID might grow to be a everlasting a part of the panorama, just like the flu.
“We’re nonetheless seeing illness and hospitalizations, however we’re seeing much more illness than hospitalizations now,” he mentioned. “I believe that is the place we’re heading with this. I am unable to make certain, however I believe we’re heading right into a semi-permanent section of persistent illness, however much less extreme outcomes.”
He emphasised that having had COVID does not imply you will not get it once more, as a result of immunity from the an infection seems to be short-lived. And breakthrough circumstances are attainable even in case you’re vaccinated, although they’re more likely to be much less extreme than in case you weren’t, Siegel mentioned.
“Do not depend on prior an infection to fully shield you and do not depend on a vaccine to fully shield you, however get as a lot immunity as you’ll be able to,” he mentioned.
It is reassuring to know that Omicron seems to trigger fewer long-term signs, Siegel mentioned.
“Bear in mind that Omicron causes fewer long-term signs however not zero,” he emphasised. “We have to proceed to pay attention to this virus and to be cautious about it.”
The brand new findings had been revealed on-line June 18 in The Lancet.
SOURCES: Claire Steves, PhD, senior scientific lecturer, Kings School, London, England; Marc Siegel, MD, scientific professor, drugs, NYU Langone Medical Heart, New York Metropolis; The Lancet, June 18, 2022, on-line
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