We're learning more every day about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but it will likely present surprises. The best strategy is still to prevent new infections.
Perhaps. A new study in Science suggests a very high prevalence of the Epstein-Barr virus in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This strong evidence may aid those suffering from MS and give us all a better sense of how endemic infections may have long-term consequences that we are slow to recognize because of the long delay between infection and symptoms.
Most COVID-19 concerns have focused on daily infections and their accumulated impacts. Relatively little attention has been given to the lingering symptoms known as “long-haul COVID,” even though it comprises some 30% of cases. The available data are spotty but amenable to the same kinds of population analysis that has been applied to daily cases.
The strange neurological symptoms of "long-COVID" may have an explanation: another virus. A study has examined whether COVID promotes the reactivation of the Epstein-Barr Virus, an ubiquitous herpes virus that causes mono in teens. The evidence suggests that this is, indeed, the case, and it's EBV that's causing some of the long-COVID symptoms.
The pandemic is not a monolithic event; it is a dance of the virus and our behavior. What we have learned about pandemics from the mistakes in our models. What about “long” COVID? Why does “if it bleeds, it leads” make sense?