For Science 24/11 // Long Covid: many questions remain

Exchanges with speckled foils, contrasting with the harshness of the debates of recent days on social networks: patients, doctors and researchers met, Friday, November 19, at the Palais des Congrès in Nancy, during a national scientific day on the Covid long, coordinated by the French-language Infectious Pathology Society (Spilf). Some two hundred people were present, half of them on site. The aim was to ” to share [les] experiences and [les] opinions, which can sometimes differ a little because we do not have the same angle of view “, explained Dominique Salmon-Ceron, infectious disease specialist at Hôtel-Dieu (AP-HP) in the introduction of this day.

In fact, this was co-organized by some of the authors of an epidemiological study, published Monday, November 8 by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, and other researchers who dispute the conclusions. The study in question has caused confusion by suggesting that not all persistent symptoms of Covid-19 may be linked to infection with SARS-CoV-2. The day highlighted these oppositions, but also the gaps that remain in the knowledge of this new entity.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers The manifestations of the “long Covid” would not necessarily be linked to the infection by SARS-CoV-2

Great fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive disorders, muscle pain… The symptoms of long Covid are very varied and fluctuating. The impact can be very disabling, on professional and family life, testify the patients. The World Health Organization recently defined the post-Covid-19 condition as symptoms that last for at least two months and cannot be explained by another diagnosis, whether the patient has had a confirmed test or not.

Carried out using data from the Constances cohort, the study of JAMA Internal Medicine, coordinated by Cédric Lemogne, head of the adult psychiatry service at Hôtel-Dieu (AP-HP, Inserm, University of Paris), suggests that the belief of having been infected is more strongly linked to symptoms of Covid longer than having had a positive result in a serological test. In other words, the long Covid would be partly psychological. “We must be careful: our results do not in any way say that the disorders reported by the patients are imaginary or necessarily psychosomatic”, Cédric Lemogne had immediately warned in our columns on November 11.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers The manifestations of the “long Covid” would not necessarily be linked to the infection by SARS-CoV-2

The study was mentioned during this day, without there being any real debate during the sessions. “The fact of attributing the cause of the long Covid to a belief is detrimental in the care of patients, who are already confronted with the denial of their symptoms by a part of the medical profession, however denounced, Friday, November 19, Faustine Hélie, co-founder of the association Covid long France # Aprèsj20. The psychologization of the long Covid is not proven. “

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For Science 24/11 // Long Covid: many questions remain

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