Due to the failure to identify the patient’s initial infection, some cases of protracted COVID-19 may go undetected.
That is supported by a recent, modest study that was written up in Neurology, Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.
According to Stat News, 103 million Americans had COVID-19, and around one-third of those resulted in a lengthy COVID. The illness can be crippling and fluctuates in severity.
Only 29 participants were examined in the new study. But because the patient’s Covid-19 infection wasn’t found, it provides special insights into how many cases of extended Covid may go undetected, according to Stat News.
Igor Koralnik, who led the study and is the chief of the division of neuroinfectious diseases and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine, estimated that roughly 10 million Americans in the first year of the pandemic were in this predicament: who got Covid, got long Covid, but tested negative for Covid.
According to Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis who was not involved with the study, the findings suggest that persons with symptoms of extended COVID shouldn’t need a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 in order to receive therapy.
Some people, he added, reside in places where testing isn’t frequently offered or have other obstacles in doing so.
“Restricting access to care [for] long Covid to people who had established disease will really disenfranchise and marginalize people who are actually likely the most vulnerable among us,” stated Al-Aly.
According to Koralnik, these so-called “negative long-haulers” must to be taken into account in trials and studies of long COVID. They are not at the moment.