As far back as July 2020, scientist have tried to link the long term effects of Covid 19 to autoimmune responses. In this article below, The Scientist outlines several scientific studies that tries to link the bodies immune responses post Covid, including early work on the relationship between viral infections and patients that suffered post illness cases of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a debilitating and poorly understood condition associated with some viral infections. The article also highlights that Long Haulers might be coping with autoimmune responses from the body due to hidden pockets of virus that exists in the brain or a major organ. As always, more study is needed to correlate the findings.
The theme of post Covid autoimmune responses and its amazingly similarity to other post viral infections from Epstein Barr or SARS of 2003, indicates a much clearer relationship than this article or my previous posts gives credit too. If in fact, Long Covid’s impact on the body is more correlated to a normal post viral response then the key to alleviating the symptoms might lie there. And for many of us, having a starting point to address our symptoms after months of needle jabs, scans and medication is comforting.
From the article;
“Although it’s still a mystery what causes the disease, according to one survey, nearly 75 percent of ME/CFS patients have described viral infections prior to the onset of their symptoms. Other studies have linked particular pathogens, including West Nile, Ebola, and Epstein-Barr viruses, with the development of ME/CFS-like symptoms in substantial numbers of infected people. This association was also observed with SARS-CoV-2’s close relative, SARS-CoV, which caused the SARS epidemic of 2003. One study conducted a year after the SARS outbreak in Toronto found that fatigue was common among survivors, and 17 percent of them still hadn’t returned to work due to long-term health issues. Even three years after Toronto’s SARS outbreak, a study found widespread fatigue and achiness among those who had been infected. “
“Normally, the body reins in the immune response after an infection is tamped down, but perhaps SARS-CoV-2 infections could cause the immune system to get stuck in that overactive state in some people, pouring a persistent shower of cytokines into the blood, notes Yale University immunologist Akiko Iwasaki. It’s theoretically possible that the virus could seek long-term refuge in an organ such as the brain that isn’t easily accessible to the immune system, Iwasaki says. This could cause a consistent trickle of virus particles to escape into the blood, where they aggravate an unceasing immune response, she adds, although with a few exceptions, this has never been shown for RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, Nath says.
Alternatively, the virus itself may be completely eradicated from the body, but leave behind snippets of viral RNA in a reservoir organ. The RNA itself, or the translated protein—which the human body’s own machinery would readily manufacture from the viral RNA—could set off immune reactions once they’re found by the body’s B cells and T cells, Iwasaki and Nath suggest. Possibly in line with this theory, there are some reports of persisting fragments of viral RNA in the throats of people who recovered from COVID-19 months before. ”