Scientists May Have Discovered The Cause of Long COVID

According to a recent study, Scientists at Stellenbosch University found the cause behind a version of the Covid-19 that has dangerous long term health implications. One of the researchers at the University details how the team made this discovery.


Described as an iteration of Covid-19 in which symptoms persist for weeks and possibly months post-recovery from the virus, Long Covid is a condition that has perplexed doctors and scientists.

However, a team of scientists from Stellenbosch University may have uncovered its cause. The team has since published a peer-reviewed study in which it discovered a special molecule that hinders the body's ability to break down blood clots.

Professor and Chair of Stellenbosch University's Physiological Science Department, Resia Pretorius, describes the disease as one that is very debilitating to the body.

She adds that since its discovery is still in its early stages, many medical practitioners have been unable to diagnose and treat the symptoms that result from these micro-cloths.

However, her team of scientists at Stellenbosch University has managed to develop and patent a method diagnosis which she hopes will be rolled out soon.

Pretorius also points out that in May earlier this year Stellenbosch University opened up a South African registry for long Covid patients which allowed them to register their symptoms and their comorbidities.

The volunteers were also given the opportunity to participate in a larger study, and the science team also used the collected blood samples to analyse and publish the findings of the existing study.

She also points out that although micro-cloths can be life-threatening, this part of the study is still under investigation.

Our samples were controlled healthy individuals, to have a baseline and we also stored samples from diabetic indivduals who we know definitely know were not exposed to it because the samples were taken before the Covid pandemic.

"That was our positive controlled sample and we then looked at acute Covid as well as long Covid samples to have a comparison to see which molecules are present, particularly in Long Covid compared to diabetic and healthy individuals." she adds

Pretorius further states that they included diabetes patients in their study because they are patients with a higher tendency to develop Long-Covid. 

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