What predicts long-COVID? Study led by Seattle researchers provides some answers

As the search for what causes long-COVID continues, researchers at Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology may have found some answers as to what factors cause ongoing illness.

After closely monitoring more than 200 COVID-19 patients for two to three months following their first signs of illness, studies show that four factors may put patients at a predisposition for long-COVID: Pre-existing Type 2 diabetes, autoantibodies from autoimmune diseases like lupus, the presence of COVID-19 RNA in blood instead of just in saliva like most patients, and the existence of Epstein Barr virus in an individual’s blood.

“Lupus treatments may likely have high relevance…That is an excellent area for further exploration,” said James Heath, lead author of the study and president of the Institute for Systems Biology.

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