Some Bad News and Some Better News
As I follow the research on the SARS-CoV2 pandemic it seems like an endless line of new data to sort through as we are midway through the third year of this. The latest data is some bad news and some better news.
The “bad” news is that slower surge of the omicron variant continues with now over 1,190,000 cases that have occurred in the U.S. An interesting new piece of data comes from the U.K. where the surge in this variant began earlier than in the U.S. This “some better news” is that the population who develops long COVID with the omicron variant is less than half that seen with the delta variant.
The study followed 41,361 persons infected with the delta variant and compared the long COVID rate to 56,000 persons infected with the omicron variant. While the former resulted in 10.8% with long COVID, the omicron variant group had a 4.5% rate. While this rate is less than half that seen with the delta variant, this still equates to 53,550 persons in the U.S. developing long COVID.
Viruses mutate in what is thought to be an attempt to do an end run around the hosts immune defenses to allow it to populate and find more “hosts”. Sometimes these mutations give up one trait to pick up a new one as the omicron variant did becoming more adept at spreading but causing less severe disease generally. Along with that, the omicron variant seems to be less likely to cause long COVID.
As we discussed in the blog Long Covid-19 Symptoms, long COVID is associated with failure to turn off the inflammatory response that the body initiates to fight the virus. Once the virus is resolved, inflammation should resolve but in long COVID it seems not to resolve. Fortunately, there are many natural therapies that can help resolve the inflammation and help regeneration as is needed in long COVID neuropathy.
Antonelli et al. RISK OF LONG COVID ASSOCIATED WITH DELTA VERSUS OMICRON VARIANTS OF SARS-COV-2. The Lancet;399:10343:2263-2264.