“Long Covid” – a syndrome that affects many people who have recovered from the acute effects of coronavirus infection, needs more study, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday.
“This is real. This is not imaginary. These are people whose symptoms are real,” Fauci told a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
He laid out the symptoms:
“Profound fatigue, muscle aches, temperature dysregulation, unexplainable tachycardia and what people refer to as brain fog, which is just a strange feeling of being unable to focus or concentrate for any period of time,” Fauci said.
Tachycardia refers to an unusually fast heart rate. “They’re lying in bed and their heart rate is 110, 105, 115, which is distinctly abnormal for someone that is sitting down or in bed,” said Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He said the National Institutes of Health had been given $1.15 billion to study the problem. “You will be hearing more announcements,” he said.
“But it is a very disconcerting syndrome that I believe is going to have effects that will go on well beyond the control, epidemiologically, of this syndrome.”
Asked about reports that vaccination might help alleviate symptoms, Fauci said more study is needed.
“The issue is thus far that it’s anecdotal,” he said. “Many people get spontaneously better anyway, and if you get vaccinated and get better, you are not sure whether it’s the vaccine or the spontaneous recovery. So you’ll have to do a randomized trial in order to determine that.”