For some people, COVID-19 is a “two-week flu,” getting the proper medication and jumping right back to life after feeling better. However, other people suffer from the highly contagious disease for longer, battling its effects for weeks or months after. These are the COVID-19 “Long Haulers”: and their stories see the light of day thanks to a new book.
Award-winning medical journalist Michael Bowker reveals the protracted battle fought by patients “ghosted” by their personal physicians who misdiagnosed their symptoms, labeling them psychosomatic, and leaving them to fend off a variety of other problems such as doubt, anxiety, and even suicidal depression.
By interviewing physicians and experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Mount Sinai, Mayo Clinic, Stanford University, and Johns Hopkins University, as well as medical centers in Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world, Bowker reveals the truth behind the terrible epidemic rising on the heels of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The new book, titled “Beating long haulers syndrome: World’s top physicians explain brain fog, fatigue and other symptoms of PASC (Long Covid) and why patients should have hope,” is published under Sixty Degrees Publishing.
(Photo : Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Scott Krakower, a psychiatrist poses in front of his home on July 8, 2020 in Port Washington on Long Island, New York. – Krakower tested positive for COVID-19 back in mid-April, but three months on there are still days he feels overwhelmingly tired, short of breath, and unable to speak because of a hoarse throat. The 40-year-old New Yorker is among a wave of patients being referred to as “long-haulers,” whose recovery period extends far beyond the two or so weeks that are the average length of the illness.
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COVID-19 Long Haulers: Patients Left by the System
According to a recent article from the University of California, Davis explains long haulers as people suffering from COVID-19 symptoms for longer, lasting for weeks or months. While they have already tested negative for the highly contagious diseases and are free from its worst effects, there are still observable symptoms. There have been a number of studies — such as a September 2020 article in the JAMA Network and a study by British scientists in the British Medical Journal — examining its effects, a condition that affects about one in every ten COVID-19 patients.
Furthermore, the condition can affect anyone, regardless of age, or whether they are healthy or battling other comorbidities.
In his book, Michael Bowker, called for Congressional support to increase funding for developing treatments and cures. The symptoms often disables people of working age, sometimes leaving permanent damage. This means that the lack of treatment and cure — none of which currently exists — will lead to billions of dollars drained by disability payments and loss of production.
Addressing the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
Additionally, the new book also debunks the myth that COVID-19 can be dismissed as a “two-week flu.” The investigative journalist demonstrates how millions of Americans — and more than a hundred million people worldwide — are suffering from a range of post-COVID symptoms that have lasted for more than a year, and no end is apparent for these cases. The number of Long Haulers, officially termed Post-Acute Sequelae COVID (PASC) by the NIH, remain on the rise.
Among the physicians interviewed include Dr. Avindra Nath, NIH Clinical Director of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Dr. David Putrino, architect behind Mount Sinai PASC Clinic in New York; Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, from Mayo Clinic’s Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, and more.
About Sixty Degrees Publishing
First established back in 2003, Sixty Degrees Publishing is a publishing company based in Santa Barbara, California. Aside from Michael Bowker’s “Beating Long Haulers,” it also carries other titles such “Gods of Our Time,” “Finding Father,” “Winning the Battle Within,” “Fatal Deception,” “Rendezvous,” and other transformative and inspirational works.
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Check out more news and information on COVID-19 Long Haulers in Science Times.