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COVID-19 Added to the list of Autoimmune Diseases

“The Autoimmune Registry has determined that biomarkers of immune system activity similar to those seen in many autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases justify the inclusion of Long COVID on its list of diseases. [1,2,3] As many as 50% of people who contract COVID-19 develop the syndrome known as “Long COVID”, which appears to affect a person for months, possibly years.[4,5] There are several immune system responses seen in people after they have COVID-19.  The widely reported ‘cytokine storm’ is an innate immune system inflammatory response that raises the risk of death [6]. Adaptive autoimmune responses have not been found in COVID-19 patients, but it took years before diseases like multiple sclerosis[7,8] and type 1 diabetes[9] were recognized as adaptive autoimmune diseases. The Autoimmune Registry believes that more research on the immune system and Long COVID is needed. Due to the need for more research, Long COVID is classified on the list of autoimmune diseases as “Unconfirmed”. The symptoms of Long COVID are familiar to people suffering from autoimmune diseases[10,11], including:

  • Fatigue
  • An unpredictable flare-remission pattern of symptoms
  • Brain fog”, an interruption of memory, attention, and thought processing that can inhibit or prevent a person from performing normal activities..”

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