Financial Times – Long Covid: why do some people have symptoms months after infection?

January 5, 2022

The Financial Times article published yesterday (04.01.21) discusses the public health crisis hidden inside the Covid pandemic. Medical experts have warned about the effect on the world's population and estimate the number of people suffering from long Covid could be as many as one hundred million worldwide.

Dr Shepherd, Honorary Medical Adviser to the ME Association has highlighted this article and in particular, the paragraphs cited below:

“Sir Stephen Holgate, University of Southampton professor and co-founder of Synairgen, a company that is creating Covid-19 antiviral medication, said MRI scans had also shown inflamed organs. “The body turns on itself as a result of all this inflammation during the Covid period and attacks its own tissue.”

It continues:

“There may be a genetic predisposition that determines who is most likely to suffer this kind of immune response, so researchers are conducting large genome-wide association studies that try to locate genes that patients have in common. Another hypothesis is that the virus attacks the cells’ energy reserves, mitochondria. Sub-groups could be suffering for different reasons — or both hypotheses could be true at once.”

During the pandemic and after the emergence of long Covid, Dr Shepherd, Honorary Medical Adviser to the ME Association has said:

“There are obviously some very important clinical and pathological overlaps between ME/CFS and Long Covid. The ME Association has been highlighting this connection since May last year and we are now dealing with increasing numbers of people where Long Covid symptoms are being diagnosed as post COVID ME/CFS.”

Dr Charles Shepherd

Sir Stephen Holgate mentions a possible drug treatment for Covid-19 and potentially for long Covid, so this could possibly pave a way for future important research into both conditions. Successful research into the efficacy of drug treatments for Covid-19 and long Covid has the potential to be replicated in ME/CFS research and may eventually lead to effective drug treatment for the disease.

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