Why is this long-Covid study controversial?

Could the fact that she was “believed” to be infected explain the long-running forms of COVID-19, those cases in which patients have symptoms associated with the disease for several weeks, or even months? Yes, at least “most of the time,” she says A study published Monday in Journal of the American Medical Association (gamma), one of the most dangerous medical journals in the world.

Highlighting psychological springs above all else reminds us that this particular form of Covid remains mysterious and ill-defined. For the study in question, coordinated by Cedric Lemony, head of psychiatry at the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris, French health authorities followed nearly 25,000 people. The methodology is relatively simple. These people were given a questionnaire for the first time, asking them if they were sick, and if they still had symptoms. In parallel, serological tests were carried out, which make it possible to confirm the infection or its absence.

‘Being infected’

consequences ? “The results of this cross-sectional analysis of a large French population suggest that persistent physical symptoms after infection with COVID-19 may be more associated with belief they have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 than with ‘laboratory’ infection with COVID-19,” the authors confirmed. Among patients who present with persistent symptoms, scientists support the need to identify “cognitive and behavioral mechanisms” that can explain these symptoms.

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The publication of these results sparked strong reactions. Thus the French association AprèsJ20 denounced the “stigmatizing, dangerous and harmful” interpretations of Covid(s) long”. On social networks, Jerome Larchi, a doctor at the Clementville Clinic in Montpellier, also criticized the study. “As for the personal opinion of the authors, he wrote in a press release, I want to contest the truth of the facts, which are the symptoms that have been described by Covid patients for a long time, but also the many clinical and basic studies that prove the effect of SARS-Cov-2 on many organs, whether acute or not, and involves several physiological mechanisms.”

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debate in the scientific community

Several researchers also expressed reservations about Cedric Lemony’s study. Thus, British virologist Jeremy Rosman, citing the Science Media Center, questioned the reliability of the serological test as a “sign of previous infection.” And their authors defended this main objection about their study findings, in a the scientist, particularly emphasizing that their study clearly showed an association between a true infection and a lasting symptom: loss of the sense of smell. Evidence, according to them, that the method used in their study makes it possible to distinguish between the putative symptoms of prolonged Covid-19 associated with infection.

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The study’s publication, several clinicians and researchers note, may be used to deny the existence of prolonged forms of Covid. The American physician, F. Perry Wilson, a professor at Yale University, from reading the study that makes it possible to confirm “that [le Covid long] Not a problem at all, ”writes on the specialist website Medscape. As for the very vague definition of long Covid: “We must realize that with vague symptoms, we get ambiguous diagnoses,” the researcher warns. […] Without stricter standards, many people are at risk of getting the Covid long sticker when they don’t have it at all.”


opinions

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Christoph Donner, writer.Christoph Donner

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Economist and essayist, Nicolas Pozzo is the founder and director of Asterès Consulting.Nicolas Pozzo

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ebony shalmani

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Chronicle Donner.Christoph Donner

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