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ASPartOfMe
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14 Dec 2023, 10:41 pm

There’s ‘long flu,’ too: Influenza can lead to long-lasting symptoms, study finds

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Evidence continues to mount that Covid isn’t the only viral illness that can lead to persistent and sometimes debilitating symptoms.

Research published Thursday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases finds that the flu virus may also have long-lasting effects on health.

With the arrival of the pandemic and the resulting rash of long Covid cases, doctors had to rethink their ideas about viral infections, said senior study author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the VA St. Louis Health Care System and a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Our conception of these illnesses as acute events that you deal with and then put behind you has changed,” he said. “The acute phase is like the tip of an iceberg. People who get these infections may need attention beyond the acute phase. We need to ask if they have fully recovered, if they are able to go to the gym like before, if they have the same mental acuity.”

This view of viral illnesses and their potential long-term impacts may lead to research that will also help people with other little understood conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, which experts believe might be triggered by viral infections, Al-Aly said.

To take a closer look at the possible after-effects of Covid and the flu, Al-Aly and his colleagues turned to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They focused on records from 81,280 veterans who were hospitalized with Covid from March 2020 through June 2022, and 10,985 who were hospitalized with the flu from October 2015 through February 2019. Nearly all the patients in the study were men, and the average age was around 71 years old.

In the 18 months after infection, both groups were at increased risk of death, hospital readmission, and health problems that involved a number of organs, including the heart, kidneys, brain and the digestive system.

Covid patients were more likely to experience long-lasting problems with multiple organ systems at the same time, the study found. Flu patients also experienced this, but were more likely to have lasting symptoms related specifically to the lungs.

Lung problems in people who had recovered from the flu could range from coughs that could persist for months to severe shortness of breath caused by inflammation and scarring deep in the lungs, Al-Aly said.

Overall, the researchers found that illness caused by Covid was more severe, with higher rates of death, hospital readmission and adverse effects on multiple organ systems, than what was associated with the flu.

One thing the researchers don’t know is how broadly applicable their findings are to the general population — for the most part, older men made up the patients in the study and all were sick enough to be hospitalized.

I think they would be applicable to people hospitalized with these conditions,” Al-Aly said. “What we don’t know is whether and to what extent this will apply to people with mild Covid and mild flu who do not require hospitalization.”

Doctors are seeing similar syndromes in patients infected with other respiratory viruses, Rice said. “Many have symptoms if they push themselves,” he added. “If they used to be able to run 5 miles, now they become short of breath and can only run 3.”

Another study, published in October, found that symptoms can linger after a variety of common respiratory viruses, including common cold viruses, as well as influenza.


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lostonearth35
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14 Dec 2023, 10:53 pm

If the constant fear-mongering hasn't made me sick by now, nothing else will.

I'm so done with it. Like when people in Canada were panic buying and hoarding sugar a while ago, because the news said there was going to be a shortage due to a strike and with the holidays coming up a lot of people wanted sugar for baking. And then the strike only lasted a couple of days and there were people who had bags and bags of the stuff. Go figure. The news makes everything sound horrible and I can't even look at it anymore. :roll:



ASPartOfMe
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14 Dec 2023, 11:06 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
If the constant fear-mongering hasn't made me sick by now, nothing else will.

I'm so done with it. Like when people in Canada were panic buying and hoarding sugar a while ago, because the news said there was going to be a shortage due to a strike and with the holidays coming up a lot of people wanted sugar for baking. And then the strike only lasted a couple of days and there were people who had bags and bags of the stuff. Go figure. The news makes everything sound horrible and I can't even look at it anymore. :roll:


I think this is a good thing. This may be one of those things like Autism that have always been there but not recognized. There is a whiner stigma around fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and the like. If it turns out these conditions are really long flu etc, it will ease the stigma.


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belijojo
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15 Dec 2023, 1:20 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:

I think this is a good thing. This may be one of those things like Autism that have always been there but not recognized. There is a whiner stigma around fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and the like. If it turns out these conditions are really long flu etc, it will ease the stigma.

Yes, some positive side effects


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15 Dec 2023, 7:36 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
lostonearth35 wrote:
If the constant fear-mongering hasn't made me sick by now, nothing else will.

I'm so done with it. Like when people in Canada were panic buying and hoarding sugar a while ago, because the news said there was going to be a shortage due to a strike and with the holidays coming up a lot of people wanted sugar for baking. And then the strike only lasted a couple of days and there were people who had bags and bags of the stuff. Go figure. The news makes everything sound horrible and I can't even look at it anymore. :roll:


I think this is a good thing. This may be one of those things like Autism that have always been there but not recognized. There is a whiner stigma around fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and the like. If it turns out these conditions are really long flu etc, it will ease the stigma.


Thank you.


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funeralxempire
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15 Dec 2023, 7:37 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
lostonearth35 wrote:
If the constant fear-mongering hasn't made me sick by now, nothing else will.

I'm so done with it. Like when people in Canada were panic buying and hoarding sugar a while ago, because the news said there was going to be a shortage due to a strike and with the holidays coming up a lot of people wanted sugar for baking. And then the strike only lasted a couple of days and there were people who had bags and bags of the stuff. Go figure. The news makes everything sound horrible and I can't even look at it anymore. :roll:


I think this is a good thing. This may be one of those things like Autism that have always been there but not recognized. There is a whiner stigma around fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and the like. If it turns out these conditions are really long flu etc, it will ease the stigma.


Some folks just want to focus on negativity no matter what. It doesn't matter what the topic is, they'll find a way to mope about it.


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16 Dec 2023, 12:19 am

I hope I don't end up with long flu. I'd hate to be stuck in my own little country for 14 days or more.


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16 Dec 2023, 11:28 am

A few years back there was a flu that was linked to older people having heart attacks in the weeks after recovery.This happened to a friend, healthy as a horse , non smoker, worked out, not over weight, no pre existing medical conditions,ate organic and was the last person I expected to have a heart attack.


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autisticelders
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18 Dec 2023, 6:18 am

thanks for the info, you find the good stuff and make it available to us... much appreciated!


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ASPartOfMe
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18 Dec 2023, 9:48 am

autisticelders wrote:
thanks for the info, you find the good stuff and make it available to us... much appreciated!

You are welcome.


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18 Dec 2023, 10:03 am

It makes sense that there would be long flu since it is relatively similar to Covid and can cause havoc with the immune system all the same.



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18 Dec 2023, 5:54 pm

I suppose there’s some scientific value to learning these things, but in the grand scheme of life.. this changes nothing but knowledge. People aren’t going to become any more or less sick from illness due to this observation being documented. You get sick, you’re sick.. you get over it fully, Or you don’t and you have some diminished lung capacity or energy levels or whatever was going to happen. Same same as ever, no reason to doomsday-dwell on the thought of contracting a long flu like it’s some new illness to worry about.


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ASPartOfMe
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19 Dec 2023, 6:33 am

goldfish21 wrote:
I suppose there’s some scientific value to learning these things, but in the grand scheme of life.. this changes nothing but knowledge. People aren’t going to become any more or less sick from illness due to this observation being documented. You get sick, you’re sick.. you get over it fully, Or you don’t and you have some diminished lung capacity or energy levels or whatever was going to happen. Same same as ever, no reason to doomsday-dwell on the thought of contracting a long flu like it’s some new illness to worry about.

It is another reason to take basic precautions. Unless you are immunocompromised I am not advocating living like a hermit or in constant fear. I thought the pandemic would alter priorities for a long time. How utterly wrong I was. Awareness of long flu means that doctors won’t not diagnose or misdiagnose people who have it. Awareness hopefully means research will be done that will result in treatments for people with various long ailments. Until that time awareness could mean the sufferer does not think of themselves as a whiney complainer.

You are pretty cavalier about the loss of “some diminished lung capacity”.


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goldfish21
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19 Dec 2023, 7:01 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
I suppose there’s some scientific value to learning these things, but in the grand scheme of life.. this changes nothing but knowledge. People aren’t going to become any more or less sick from illness due to this observation being documented. You get sick, you’re sick.. you get over it fully, Or you don’t and you have some diminished lung capacity or energy levels or whatever was going to happen. Same same as ever, no reason to doomsday-dwell on the thought of contracting a long flu like it’s some new illness to worry about.

It is another reason to take basic precautions. Unless you are immunocompromised I am not advocating living like a hermit or in constant fear. I thought the pandemic would alter priorities for a long time. How utterly wrong I was. Awareness of long flu means that doctors won’t not diagnose or misdiagnose people who have it. Awareness hopefully means research will be done that will result in treatments for people with various long ailments. Until that time awareness could mean the sufferer does not think of themselves as a whiney complainer.

You are pretty cavalier about the loss of “some diminished lung capacity”.


People are social animals. Zillions of years of evolution wasn’t going to be undone in a few short years of Covidtimes. As soon as lockdowns were lifted, people got right back to partying. I fully expected that to happen so it didn’t surprise me at all.

I suppose there’s some value to feeling like you’re not just a whiney complainer when there’s a known medical explanation.

“Some diminished lung capacity,” = it is what it is sort of thing. Nothing’s gonna change it so whatever. Some people experience that after being very sick. Such is life - it’s not a new phenomenon and nothing to stress over.


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