A study in China of COVID-19 survivors (median age 59) who were hospitalized found that half had a persisting symptom one year later—Long COVID. That includes shortness of breath, fatigue, and mental health issues such as anxiety depression. It also found a higher prevalence of problems with mobility and pain and discomfort than the control group.
- The increased transmissibility of the Delta variant could greatly increase the number of people with Long COVID.
- Herd immunity from the Delta variant is now out of reach so Long COVID is a certainty for many people to come.
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A preliminary study of brain imaging taken of before COVID-19 infection and after showed a reduced amount of gray matter thickness in the frontal and temporal lobes. This seems to explain some of the symptoms like loss of smell and taste (associated with the olfactory bulb) as well as other side effects like memory loss.
A paper published in Nature looked at brain autopsies of people that died from COVID-19. Brain endothelial cells were found to be infected and there was an increase in string vessels (lost capillaries).