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Almost a third of people with 'mild' Covid-19 still battle symptoms months later, study finds

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20%. 2 min read.

It's been almost a year since Michael Reagan, 50, came down with Covid-19.

Reagan said he spent two months in and out of the hospital last spring, with acute Covid-19.

"Since then it has been a roller coaster," he said, with ups and downs, new symptoms, a whole series of doctors, medications and tests.

"I realized that I have a lot of damage from Covid and it's changed my life completely," he said.

The Center for Post-Covid Care at Mount Sinai Health System, in New York City, was the first of its kind to open back up in May. So far, the center has seen more than 1600 patients -- including Reagan and Condra -- and there's a months-long wait to get an appointment.

He said having mild illness or being healthy to begin with, is no protection from having persistent symptoms.

Shortness of breath is a very specific one, and chest pain as well," he said.

Some could be triggered by microvascular disease -- damage to the capillaries, which Sandrock says is behind many symptoms, from chest pain to "Covid toes" to fatigue and even brain fog.

Treatment, Sandrock said, is very much individualized and depends on the symptoms and the underlying cause of those symptoms.

He said patients need to adjust their life to a less stressful and slower pace to allow the body to heal.

Dr. Dayna McCarthy, a team member at Mount Sinai's Center for Post-Covid Care, agrees patients have to adjust their expectations of themselves and slow down.

But if people are not able to do that, and they keep pushing, that is when the symptoms just do not get better," she said.

You know, three steps forward, two steps back," said Sandrock, noting that he measures improvements in terms of months.

McCarthy, who calls the process "glacially slow," says patients do get better with supportive care and time.

"But a lot of it falls on the patient and having to understand and come to terms with the fact that their life needs to change for them to get better," she said.

[It's] a very difficult thing for patients to process and embrace," she said.

Both Sandrock and McCarthy say much more research is needed to better understand post-Covid syndrome, including who gets it and best treatment practices.

Sandrock said he was excited to learn that the National Institutes of Health recently announced it would be offering research grants as part of its "Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC)" initiative.

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