“There are a few current theories related to the immune system and the manifestations of long COVID that we’re seeing. All are unproven at this point, and I think ultimately there may be several explanations for the different constellations of symptoms. We’re seeing long COVID most often in people who did not have severe COVID initially, and there may be clues that the robustness of the immune response and subsequent persistent immune activation could drive symptoms. Some have wondered if there could be low-level virus still present, although there isn’t evidence to prove that among our patients so far. Then there’s the possibility that there was initial damage from the virus — such as damage to nerve pathways that are then very slow to recover. This could explain some of the profound neurologic symptoms and pain patients experience even after mild COVID, which can take many months to improve.”

More on A pandemic that endures for COVID long-haulers via The Harvard Gazette.

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