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Doctors Scramble To Understand Long COVID, but Causes and Prognosis Are Elusive
Michelle Andrews and Lydia Zuraw
Kaiser Health News
Type of Media
Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)
Country of Origin
United States of America (the)
One night in March 2020, Joy Wu felt like her heart was going to explode. She tried to get up and fell down. She didn’t recognize friends’ names in her list of phone contacts. Remembering how to dial 9-1-1 took “quite a bit of time,” she recalled recently.
Wu, 38, didn’t have a fever, cough or sore throat — the symptoms most associated with covid-19 at the time — so doctors at the hospital told her she was having a panic attack. But later she developed those symptoms, along with difficulty breathing, fatigue and neurological issues.
Wu, of San Carlos, California, believes she had covid — although, like many others who were unable to get tested early in the pandemic, she never got an official diagnosis. And, she said, its aftereffects continue to plague her.
Wu has struggled to get help from doctors, even those who take her symptoms seriously. “There’s no actual treatment,” she said, for people experiencing these lasting symptoms, often referred to as long covid. When seeking help, “you’re basically a guinea pig at this point.”
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