Acupuncture mechanisms and models for the treatment of long-covid

Author(s): J E Williams


The long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection are a significant burden to society, healthcare systems, and economies. Long-COVID refers to a constellation of symptoms affecting different organs reported by patients following Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. COVID-19 survivors who do not fully recover progress to a chronic state, termed Long-COVID, occurring in about 30 percent of cases with estimates as high as 40 percent for prolonged symptoms. With more than 236 million people diagnosed with COVID-19 worldwide, the consequences of poor health and disability among COVID-19 survivors are overwhelming. Medical acupuncture may effectively address both symptoms and the underlying cause of Long- COVID. The literature and case studies support the value of acupuncture for symptoms associated with respiratory viral infections, like H1N1 influenza and post-acute SARS. Acupuncture is a viable adjunct as part of a multidisciplinary approach for symptom control and disease management to improve quality of life in Long-COVID patients and may favorably modify the length and outcome of this condition.

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