Half of the COVID-19 patients discharged from a Chinese hospital in early 2020 still have at least one symptom two years later, a new study shows. Additionally, new findings suggest patterns of inflammatory proteins in the blood of people with long COVID may someday help guide individualized treatment.

Paxlovid

Additional reports of patients with long COVID who were helped by Pfizer Inc.’s oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid offer fresh impetus for conducting clinical trials to test the medicine for the debilitating condition, U.S. researchers said on May 5.

Although research is being conducted on Long COVID or Long COVID-19, whose symptoms continue for weeks and months after initial infection, there are very few ongoing clinical trials on treatments. Anecdotally, there has been what appears to be a successful treatment for Long Covid using Pfizer’s antiviral regimen Paxlovid.

President Joe Biden on April 5 tasked the U.S. health department with developing a national action plan to tackle the looming health crisis of long COVID, a complex, multi-symptom condition that leaves many of its sufferers unable to work.

The World Health Organization on March 30 released an updated plan for COVID-19, laying out key strategies that, if implemented in 2022, would allow the world to end the emergency phase of the pandemic.

After producing vaccines and treatments for acute COVID-19 in record time, researchers and drugmakers are turning to finding a cure for long COVID, a more elusive target marked by hundreds of different symptoms afflicting millions of people.

Many countries around the world that appeared to have kicked COVID-19 are reporting surges, largely the result of the so-called “stealth” Omicron variant, BA.2.

One in four children with COVID-19 symptoms develop “long COVID,” according to data pooled from 21 earlier studies conducted in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Also, according to a study reported on March 14 in JAMA Pediatrics, women who wish to pass protective antibodies induced by COVID-19 vaccines to their babies via breast milk should opt for the mRNA shots from Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech.

As Russia continues to bombard cities across Ukraine in artillery strikes, thousands of people have huddled in underground metro stations and bunkers to escape the devastation of those attacks. But another type of attack could result from this – a new outbreak of COVID-19 infection. 

Scientists pinpointed 16 new genetic variants in people who developed severe COVID-19 in a large study published on March 7 that could help researchers develop treatments for very sick patients.