SCIENTISTS claim Immune cells that coronavirus survivors develop when fighting the infection may start attacking healthy tissues.
The off-target assaults of these rogue immune cells may be the culprit of COVID-19 patients lingering symptoms, the Emory University scientists suspect.
If coronavirus’s autoantibodies follow the suit of these conditions, long-covid may not be curable.
But now that the scientists have discovered this they can test for these rogue antibodies, they hope they can identify who has them and develop treatments to combat flare-ups like those that already exist for older autoimmune diseases.
The number of coronavirus survivors suffering ‘long-covid’ is hard to pin down, but ever-growing.
One study found that about 74 per cent of a group of UK COVID-19 patients who had been hospitalised for the infection was still suffering lingering symptoms three months after they were discharged.
Other studies have estimated the figure to be closer to a more conservative one in 10.
The lingering symptoms have struck people of all ages, including children and teenagers as well as elderly people and pregnant women.
The potentially chronic condition seems more common in those who become severely ill, but that, too, leaves open questions about why those individuals become so much sicker than others.
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