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'What do I have to lose?’ Desperate long Covid patients turn to ‘miracle cures’

Few of the 23 million Americans with lingering symptoms are getting answers – in this dangerous void, alternative providers and wellness companies have created a cottage industry of Long Covid miracle cures.

Some doctors ply controversial blood tests that claim to identify evidence of the elusive disease. Other practitioners speak assuredly about the benefits of skipping breakfast and undergoing ozone therapy, or how zinc can bring back loss of taste or smell. Some desperate patients have gone overseas for controversial stem cell therapy. Over the next seven years, the global complementary and alternative medicine industry is expected to quadruple in value; analysts cite alternative Covid therapies as a reason for growth.

Robert McCann, a 44-year-old political strategist from Lansing, Michigan, sleeps for 15 hours – and when he wakes up, he still finds it impossible to get out of bed. Sometimes he wakes up so confused that he’s unsure what day it is.

McCann tested positive for Covid in July 2020. He had mild symptoms that resolved within about a week. But a few months later, pain, general confusion and debilitating exhaustion returned and never fully left. 

He says he’s skeptical of “miracle cures”. But, after about 17 months of illness and no relief from doctor’s visits, he’s desperate. “I’ll just be frank,” he told me, “if someone has mentioned on the Subreddit that it’s helped them, I’ve probably bought it and tried it.”

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Source: The Guardian, 2 June 2022


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