People with long Covid are going online to look for support. But these valuable discussion forums, chat groups and other online peer-support networks can also spread harmful misinformation.
Online groups allow unproven therapies to be promoted, sometimes by members who believe they are sharing helpful information. Sometimes entrepreneurs are promoting their unproven therapies directly.
Health researchers admit there are few evidence-based treatments for long Covid. In the face of such uncertainty, people with debilitating symptoms can be tempted by unproven options such as “blood washing”, stem cell infusions and ozone treatments.
Some despairing people with long Covid say they are willing to try any therapy if there’s hope it improves their health.
Long COVID: with no treatment options, it’s little wonder people are seeking unproven therapies like ‘blood washing’. It’s time to increase our focus on testing potential long COVID treatments in clinical trials. https://t.co/HkXrly0xnE
— SHA Scotland (@shascotland) July 22, 2022
The fight for recognition and medical attention
People with long Covid can suffer debilitating health problems that make it difficult to return to work or activities they once enjoyed. Symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, depression and anxiety.
They have had to fight to receive medical attention or recognition of their symptoms. Indeed, it was patient-led activism that first made the public and health professionals aware how symptoms can extend for months, even…