COVID-19 patients still have symptoms after 6 months; Interferon may be supportive treatment after all

Doctors treated patients with coronovirus disease (COVID-19) on 11 January 2021 at Enfermera Isabel Zendal Hospital in Madrid, Spain. REUTERS / Sergio Perez

(Reuters) – The following novel is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on coronovirus and an attempt to treat and vaccine for the virus-causing disease COVID-19.

Half a year later, COVID-19 patients still have symptoms

Most patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have at least one symptom six months after falling ill, according to the findings of a study in Wuhan, China, where the novel coronovirus first appeared in late 2019. Doctors tracked 1,733 patients who were diagnosed and hospitalized in January, 2020 and May. Six months later, 76% had at least one symptom that included fatigue or muscle weakness (seen in 63%), sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression. Researchers reported in The Lancet on Friday that most of the seriously ill people had ongoing lung problems and chest abnormalities that could indicate organ damage, while 13% of patients in the hospital who had a kidney normally Used to work, he developed kidney problems. “We are only beginning to understand” some of the long-term effects of COVID-19, said studyhor Koutor bin Cao from the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing. “Our analysis indicates that most patients continue to live with at least some effects of the virus after leaving the hospital,” highlighting the need for post-discharge care. (

Interferon increases proteins that deny entry into the coronavirus

Experimental residents of interferon may be tested for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, for which limited researchers did not anticipate. A potential problem with interferon is that it increases the level of a protein called ACE2, which the new coronavirus uses as a gateway into cells. In test tube experiments, researchers looked at cells that represented the pathway leading from the nose to the lungs and revealed that there are actually two forms of ACE2 – a well-known and a shorter form in which the entry pathway used by the virus Lacks. Interferon increases the abbreviated form of ACE2, but not the longer form, they found, meaning that it does not appear to promote an entry point for the virus. Dr. of the University of Southampton Jane Lucas, who co-led the study in Nature Genetics on Monday, said, “We were excited to discover a new form of ACE2.” “We believe this may have important implications for the management of COVID-19 infection.” Late-stage trials include a breath interferon being tested from Sinaergen plc. (

Salivary viral load improves prediction of COVID-19 severity

Researchers said the amount of new coronaviruses in saliva may help doctors care for patients because it is better than the viral load in swab samples obtained from the back of the nose and throat. They studied 26 mildly ill COVID-19 patients, 154 hospitalized patients – 63 of whom became seriously ill and 23 who eventually died – and 108 uninfected individuals. Salivary viral load, but not nasopharyngeal viral load, was associated with COVID-19 risk factors such as age and sex, and immune system responses. The nasopharyngeal viral load was also superior to predicting serious illness and death, the researchers reported on MedRxive ahead of peer review on Wednesday. Saliva contains accumulated germs that are cleaned from the lungs by the body’s protective system, Kothor Akiko Iwasaki of Yale University reported in a tweet on Sunday. Therefore the viral load of saliva indicates that the virus is copying itself from the windpipe to the nose to the lungs, and not just from the back of the nose and throat, but all the way. (

Open in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines and treatments in development.

Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Burcott


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