DEAR DR. ROACH: Are you able to get lengthy COVID from symptomless post-vaccine an infection? — L.B.
ANSWER: “Lengthy COVID” refers to long-term signs following an an infection with the novel coronavirus. These signs, which can persist for months (at the very least), embody fatigue, problem concentrating usually referred to as “mind fog,” persistent lack of odor or style, headache, chest discomfort and palpitations. Roughly 30% of individuals with persistent signs after COVID had them following an asymptomatic case.
There is not sufficient information to reply your query primarily based on proof. I think it’s attainable to get persistent post-COVID signs even after vaccination, since not one of the COVID-19 vaccines is ideal (nothing is, in drugs). Nevertheless, there may be actually motive to be optimistic. The primary is that new information present a 70% to 90% drop in asymptomatic infections, which ought to translate to far fewer individuals with persistent signs. Second, though the preliminary negative effects of the vaccine might be tough for individuals with lengthy COVID signs, there are lots of case studies of the signs enhancing after vaccination. In a single survey, a few third of individuals improved with vaccination, whereas 15% to twenty% worsened. This has been a little bit of a shock to specialists.
I’m hopeful that the COVID vaccines will probably be analogous to what we see with the shingles vaccine — it reduces the chance of getting shingles, but in addition reduces the chance of long-term issues from shingles, even in those that get shingles regardless of the vaccine. Nevertheless, it is a guess till there are good research.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I had an X-ray for again ache, and was informed I had a “10 mm sclerotic bone lesion” within the pelvis. They’re sending me for an MRI. What may this be? — P.W.
ANSWER: There are a number of prospects relating to sclerotic (“stonelike”) bone lesions. Many of those are benign: a “bone island” is a small space of compact bone inside the spongy bone; different benign tumors, akin to osteomas and enchondromas; and Paget’s illness of bone.
The MRI will assist to tell apart between these benign causes and bone most cancers. Most cancers of the bone might be major (that’s, beginning within the bone, which is rare) or can have unfold from another place, such because the lung or breast. A single lesion is extra prone to be benign.
Hopefully, the MRI will verify that it is a benign lesion.
DEAR DR. ROACH: At 89 years previous, I watch TV, learn the papers and battle to remain awake. I take my meds as instructed, together with senior nutritional vitamins. Is that this a part of the growing old course of? — A.F.
ANSWER: Though everyone ages otherwise, it’s common that older individuals get drained at earlier hours than they used to when youthful. Nevertheless, many drugs could trigger sleepiness and problem concentrating, and it’s actually value a chat together with your pharmacist to see whether or not any you take could be inflicting this, and together with your physician to see whether or not any you could be taking might be modified, if applicable.
Senior nutritional vitamins in all probability have little profit in holding older adults awake, and have by no means been proven to have profit in holding individuals wholesome, as long as the particular person is consuming an inexpensive weight loss program.
There are a lot of medical circumstances that may trigger simple fatigue. Obstructive sleep apnea is one which often goes undiagnosed for years.
Dr. Roach regrets that he’s unable to reply particular person letters, however will incorporate them within the column each time attainable. Readers could e-mail inquiries to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or ship mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.