COVID-19 often causes sequelae after initial recovery, referred to collectively as long COVID. Long COVID is considered to be caused by the persistence of chronic inflammation after acute COVID-19 infection. We found that all long COVID patients had residual inflammation in the epipharynx, an important site of coronavirus replication, and some long COVID symptoms are similar to those associated with chronic epipharyngitis. Epipharyngeal abrasive therapy (EAT) is a treatment for chronic epipharyngitis in Japan that involves applying zinc chloride as an anti-inflammatory agent to the epipharyngeal mucosa. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of EAT for the treatment of long COVID. The subjects in this study were 58 patients with long COVID who were treated with EAT in the outpatient department once a week for one month (mean age = 38.4 ± 12.9 years). The intensities of fatigue, headache, and attention disorder, which are reported as frequent symptoms of long COVID, were assessed before and after EAT using the visual analog scale (VAS). EAT reduced inflammation in the epipharynx and significantly improved the intensity of fatigue, headache, and attention disorder, which may be related to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). These results suggest that EAT has potential as a novel method for long COVID treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases