Thailand joins U.S.-led international study on long COVID
Thailand’s Center for Medical Genomics will take part in a U.S.-led international study to find the reasons for “long COVID” and possible treatments for people who are still suffering from symptoms long after the virus left their bodies.
Approximately one-in-three people who have been infected with COVID-19 have developed long COVID, according to the Center for Medical Genomics (CMG). The CMG has developed a method to analyze the genomes of patients suffering from long COVID. There has been no known treatment or cure for the disease or syndrome at this time.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is coordinating the research project. As it will focus on finding possible genetic factors behind long COVID, the work already underway by Thailand’s CMG could prove valuable.
The invitation by the CDC for Thailand to join the research project is an indication of the high regard for the Kingdom’s public health system among medical professionals the world over.
Long COVID has as many as 200 symptoms. It sometimes resembles chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis, which manifests by muscle pain caused by an inflammation in the brain and spine. Nonetheless, many sufferers had no history of those or other chronic diseases before contracting COVID-19.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the parent agency of the CDC, is preparing to launch a clinical study testing whether protease inhibitors can be effective in treating long COVID. It will use the treatment on about 1,700 patients aged 18 and over.
The study will test the theory that protease inhibitors, a type of anti-viral drug, is capable of eliminating the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which remains in the body of an infected patient and will later cause long COVID.
Photo courtesy of https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/countries/thailand/