Clue Found In Search For Cause Of Long COVID, Canadian Researchers Say
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 2: A model of COVID-19, known as coronavirus, is seen ahead of testimony from Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), during a US Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, known as Operation Warp Speed, July 2, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
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For some people who get COVID, their symptoms are mild. Others have had it but never even knew.

But a small batch of people who’ve contracted the virus end up with something called long COVID.

“Some of the most common symptoms of post COVID-19 condition or as you said, long COVID, include shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction, which people call brain fog, as well as fatigue,” Dr. Janet Diaz said, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) post.

“Those are the three most common. However, there has been more than 200 symptoms that actually have been reported in patients. So that list is quite long. So other symptoms that patients or people may experience include things such as chest pain, such as trouble speaking, some have described anxiety or depression, muscle aches, fever, loss of smell, loss of taste. So the list is quite long, but those top three are the ones that have been described,” she said.

Researchers have been trying to figure out why some people get long COVID.

Now, new research in a Canadian trial “has identified a potential key culprit causing some people to continue experiencing breathing issues months after contracting COVID-19,” according to a new report.

“A team of researchers based at five centres across Ontario have zeroed in on a microscopic abnormality in the way oxygen moves from the lungs and into the blood vessels of long COVID patients in their trial,” Global News reported. “This abnormality could explain why these patients feel breathless and are unable to perform strenuous activities, says lead researcher Grace Parraga, Tier 1 Canada research chair in lung imaging at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.”

“All these patients had this abnormality. They all had really serious symptoms, so their exercise scores were low, they were breathless when they exercised and when we measured the oxygen levels in their blood in the tips of their fingers after exercise, that was also low,” she said.

“Those feelings of breathlessness are completely consistent with our finding that we’re not moving the oxygen as efficiently as we should,” she told the Canadian publication. “It’s very exciting for us to actually find something that’s wrong — that it’s in the patient’s lungs and not in their head,” Parraga said.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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