Post-COVID-19 Syndrome: Leveraging the Patient Perspective and Technological Innovations to Enable the Delineation of Effective Treatments

Matthew T. Roe, Bray Patrick-Lake, & Andrew C. von Eschenbach for the journal Drugs, June 16, 2021

Dear Editor,

More than 32 million individuals have survived a confirmed COVID-19 viral infection in the USA [12], and a substantial proportion of post-COVID survivors are suffering from prolonged, recurrent, and/or newly emerging symptoms that span across bodily systems and organs [3]. The spectrum of symptoms and disabilities observed in this setting has been alarming and suggests that the “post-COVID syndrome” is a pan-inflammatory disease with highly variable disease expression and consequences [4]. However, accurately and completely characterizing post-COVID syndrome is difficult because many individuals with acute COVID-19 infection were not hospitalized, and therefore were not tracked through standard, in-patient-based data reporting mechanisms to public health authorities [5]. We must therefore develop creative solutions to engage post-COVID survivors so as to better track symptoms, understand the disease—including the impact on activities of daily living, functional status, and return to work capacity—and ultimately use these advances to guide the evaluation of medical treatments and care strategies for these individuals.

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