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Los Angeles Times: Got COVID-19? Doctors Caution Against Powering Through It—Even From Home

The Los Angeles Times and KCBS Radio recently interviewed Cedars-Sinai experts Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, and Moshe Arditi, MD, about the need for COVID-19 patients to rest in order to heal and why some develop lingering symptoms after recovering from their initial illness.   

Many people have continued working from home after developing COVID-19, although unplugging from the world is critical to healing. “You really want your body to recover,” Cheng, director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute, told the Los Angeles Times. “Give it as much rest as possible, to recover as fully as possible.”

It might be tough to stay away from email and set boundaries while one is sick. But that could backfire and draw out an illness. “Sleep equals immunity. You want to have your immune system not distracted by anything else,” Cheng told the Los Angeles Times.  

Unfortunately, after recovering from COVID-19, as many as 30% of patients can experience lingering symptoms. An overactive immune system could be to blame, according to a paper recently published by Arditi, director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Allergy and Immunology at Cedars-Sinai. 

"We're trying to understand what causes this," Arditi told Melissa Culross and Bret Burkhart, hosts of KCBS program Ask an Expert. "We know it's triggered by the infection, but the downstream effect—what is causing these—is still unclear. Therefore, there's a tremendous amount of research going on in this." 

The research paper, an analysis of other published studies, suggests the virus that causes COVID-19 attaches to cells in the body using spike proteins. These proteins may contain molecular material that causes the immune system to overreact. Another theory suggests that the virus leaves behind genetic material that lingers in the body’s tissue, causing chronic inflammation, Arditi told Culross and Burkhart.

It remains unclear why some patients experience these symptoms. Arditi and his fellow researchers are working to unravel these mysteries and ultimately develop new treatments for patients. 

Click here to read the complete article from the Los Angeles Times, and click here to listen to the complete interview from KCBS Radio.