COVID-19 symptoms can last weeks and months in some patients who are now referred to as “long haulers” or “chronic COVID”.
According to the British Medical Journal, post-acute COVID-19 or “long COVID” is defined as symptoms 3 weeks after the initial onset of symptoms. Chronic COVID-19 are symptoms extending 12 weeks from the initial onset of first symptoms.
Research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association estimates 10-30% of COVID-19 patients become long haulers.
Coughing and shortness of breath, debilitating fatigue, malaise and lethargy, cardiac dysrhythmias, insomnia, joint pain, headaches, brain fog, memory and concentration problems, neuropathic pain, GI discomfort including diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss.
One common theory is that there is viral persistence, inactivated viral fragments, or reactivation of a latent virus. While research is still ongoing to make any conclusive statements, we do believe that the etiology is an immune state caused by pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Using IncellDx’s patented kit, we are measuring immune markers and cytokines. Cytokines are immunoregulatory proteins made by immune cells to communicate, signal and coordinate immune responses. Cytokines are produced by a broad range of cells including T-cells, B-cells, macrophages, and endothelial cells and play an important role in the regulation of the immune system. However, in certain conditions and pathologies, elevated cytokines can contribute to hyperinflammatory states, which we believe is the underlying cause behind chronic COVID-19.