Long Covid expert says the world is in 'deep trouble' and millions may suffer debilitating issues

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While some are hopeful the Covid pandemic will end soon, the long term effects of the virus may effect some survivors for years down the line and have debilitating effects on the lives of young and previously healthy people.

‘Long Covid’ is a somewhat common, mysterious and potentially devastating condition where a person suffers symptoms of the virus for weeks to months after infection.

It can manifest in different ways, from altered or lost smell, to crippling fatigue, and even to severe psychiatric symptoms in some rare cases. While experts believe it is tied to an immune response to the virus, the exact reason has not been confirmed.

The condition often appears in people who suffer from more mild infections as well – usually younger, healthier, people without many pre-existing medical issues.

With the Omicron variant infecting Americans at a rapid pace – up to 800,000 infections recorded daily in the U.S. at its peak and recorded infections likely only accounting for a third of actual cases – millions of Americans may suffer long health defects as a result of the winter Omicron surge.

The Omicron COVID-19 wave peaked at around 800,000 recorded infections per day, though official numbers may only be a third of the real total of Americans that were infected. Experts predict that anywhere from 10% to 30% of Covid patients will develop long Covid, meaning millions will likely suffer from it long term. Pictured: A woman in Baltimore, Maryland, tests for Covid on January 13

The Omicron COVID-19 wave peaked at around 800,000 recorded infections per day, though official numbers may only be a third of the real total of Americans that were infected. Experts predict that anywhere from 10% to 30% of Covid patients will develop long Covid, meaning millions will likely suffer from it long term. Pictured: A woman in Baltimore, Maryland, tests for Covid on January 13

Dr Leonard Jason is a psychology professor at Depaul University that works with long Covid patients. He told DailyMail.com that the potential of the Omicron wave causing the condition in so many survivors could have severe negative consequences long term.

‘That is gonna create all kinds of economic consequences, [and to] our health care system,’ Jason said.

Dr Leonard Jason (pictured), psychology professor at Depaul University that works with long Covid patients, warns the condition can disrupt the lives of millions, though he is optimistic effective treatments for the condition will be developed over time

Dr Leonard Jason (pictured), psychology professor at Depaul University that works with long Covid patients, warns the condition can disrupt the lives of millions, though he is optimistic effective treatments for the condition will be developed over time

He told DailyMail.com that anywhere from ten to 30 percent of Covid survivors continue to suffer at least some symptoms long-term. 

For even the more mild versions, where a person loses their sense of smell or has an occasional headache, dealing with the day-to-day impact of the condition can deteriorate their quality of life and hurt their ability to take part in regular activities.

Those that suffer more severe symptoms, like extreme fatigue, frequent body aches or sensory issues may be put out of work, causing strain to their loved ones. 

Many will also require a caretaker, at least for a temporary period, which pulls another productive, functioning, member of society out of communities.

‘This will be a problem for society going forward… its hard for people to understand,’ Jason added. 

If millions of Americans were infected with Covid over the past two months of the Omicron variant’s reign – with some projecting up to 40 percent of Americans being infected at some point – and at least ten percent develop long Covid, it could be devastating. 

Jason notes that even simple positions like football coaches, camp councilors and scout leaders, which are not seen as particularly important to society as a whole but still can greatly impact the lives of some individuals, could be in short supply. 

Dr Noah Greenspan (pictured), a New York City based cardiopulmonary physical therapist and long Covid expert, says the current Covid situation puts the world into 'deep trouble'

Dr Noah Greenspan (pictured), a New York City based cardiopulmonary physical therapist and long Covid expert, says the current Covid situation puts the world into ‘deep trouble’

Dr Noah Greenspan, a cardiopulmonary physical therapist in New York City that has treated Covid and ‘long Covid’ patients since the pandemic started in March 2020, fears the current Covid situation has the country, and the world as a whole, in ‘deep trouble’.

Greenspan also said that it is too soon to tell how likely Omicron is to cause long Covid, and whether the condition manifests differently in patients that were infected by the new strain. 

‘At this moment in time, I am 100 percent sure that we don’t know whether people who contract Omicron are more likely or less likely to develop long Covid,’ he told DailyMail.com. 

‘It is way too soon since many people who have developed [long Covid] have developed symptoms weeks or even months after their acute infection.’

He also notes that one of the most notable traits of long Covid is how unpredictable it is.

‘The “classic” long hauler has a more diverse (random), far less predictable course, more diverse and random symptoms, with less of a pattern,’ he said. 

‘It’s as if you stuck your hand into a bag of symptoms and pulled out your own personal symptom constellation, or your own personal Da Vinci code.’

Jason is optimistic about the future, and believes that all the information scientists have gathered about Covid, long Covid, and coronaviruses as a whole, will likely lead to treatments and therapies forming that will help the nation get over this hump.

‘I would keep betting on creativity and scientists around the world,’ he said. 

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