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There are new scientific insights into long Covid – but political will is waning | Danny Altmann

For many people, Covid is not a thing of the past. A renewed effort is needed to find out exactly what it is, and how to treat it

Among the more sobering moments at the UK Covid-19 inquiry over the past few weeks was the palpable dismay and affront shown by the mild-mannered NHS respiratory consultant Prof Chris Brightling, when he noted that Boris Johnson’s response to a Department of Health briefing on long Covid was to write “bollocks” across it in large letters. Brightling said he was “deeply saddened” and made “extremely angry” by the comment. “Does he mean bollocks to the science?” he mused, or “is it bollocks to the patients?” For the millions of sufferers whose lives, careers and finances have been shattered by the disease, it may be hard to disengage from the idea that this opinion fed into a wilful blind eye being turned to the disease.

The inquiry is a reminder that even as public (and policy) attention span for all things Covid has inevitably waned, it is worth looking at the state of play for the many millions of patients, advocates and researchers around the world still very much grappling with long Covid. From where I sit – somewhere between the international long Covid medical research community, the patient support groups, and those running long Covid clinical services – I’d describe it as a rather bleak period, with an ongoing crisis of confidence for all concerned.

Danny Altmann is a professor of immunology at Imperial College London who contributed advice to the Cabinet Office on long Covid

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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