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Studying COVID-19 Long-Haulers

A team at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health is looking at the long term of effects in some patients who are suffering from this phenomenon.

Even before Mady Hornig’s experience with COVID-19 and her being a long-hauler, her team at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health was planning to study the long-term effects SARS-COV-2 on people with it.

Hornig, MA, MD, is an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

“We had planned to do these studies well before I had any evidence of the illness,” Hornig said. “The long-hauler situation was one we anticipated might occur because of knowledge of other post-viral syndromes.”

Hornig has had a number of what would typically be unrelated symptoms including fever to COVID toes to hypertension. While she has maintained a battle with an overwhelming fatigue she has been gradually feeling better.

One of the interesting aspects the research is looking at is the connection of chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms and the overlap with the long-hauler phenomenon. Hornig notes that 10%-to 12% of those who suffer infectious mononucleosis get diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

In the second segment of an interview with Contagion®, Hornig offers insights into the specifics of their studies including addressing who is more at risk, inequities in care, and looking for potential solutions for precision medicine.