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Behind Long COVID

A number of new studies are beginning to shed light on who might be at increased risk of developing long COVID, the Wall Street Journal says.

It says that factors like asthma, certain gut bacteria, and the presence of autoantibodies have each been found to affect whether someone is more likely to develop long COVID, a long-lasting condition following COVID-19 marked by fatigue, brain fog, and more.

For instance, a study in Cell identified four risk factors for long COVID, including type 2 diabetes, SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia, Epstein-Barr virus viremia, and specific autoantibodies. The Journal notes the patients did not have autoimmune disease but did have low levels of autoantibodies associated with autoimmune. Another study in Nature Communications, meanwhile, homed in on five different factors, including immunoglobulin levels, and a Gut study found that people with healthy gut microbiomes were less likely to develop long COVID.

The University of California, San Francisco's Steven Deeks tells the Journal, though, that these findings all need to be studied further. "When you study a million things in a few people you're going to find a lot of stuff and not all of it is real," he notes.

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