It’s called “Long COVID.”

If you’ve been suffering in silence and no one seems to believe you. It’s not all in your head according to research from the University of California, Davis.

Long COVID is a term that refers to people with symptoms of the virus lasting more than 12 weeks. They range from fatigue, headaches, and breathlessness to fever and stomach pain. At least one-fourth of patients have developed some form of long COVID.

“We need a reliable and objective way of saying whether someone has had COVID-19,” says study co-leader Dr. Mark Wills of the University of Cambridge. “Antibodies are one sign we look for. But not everyone makes a very strong response and this can wane over time and become undetectable.”

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The new technique is based on chemicals called cytokines that control blood cells. When released, the tiny proteins trigger the immune system’s T-cells to fight foreign invaders.

“We’ve identified a cytokine that is also produced in response to infection by T-cells and is likely to be detectable for several months — and potentially years — following infection,” adds Wills. “We believe this will help us develop a much more reliable diagnostic for those individuals who did not get a diagnosis at the time of infection.”

This could be a major breakthrough for being able to implement proper treatment. It complements the existing antibody tests that are available.

This is particularly significant regarding the most vulnerable.

SOURCE: University of California, Davis & University of Cambridge.

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