The plodding nature of scientific research is a source of frustration to many of us, especially with reference to this Covid pandemic and the long haulers. But recent research at Stanford University seems to provide new insight. In their studies of long haulers, they discovered that the majority of them continue to shed live virus in their stool. Moreover, some of the long haulers who were “stool negative” did show live virus in biopsies of the intestinal lining. And yet these patients were not shedding virus in their respiratory membranes (nasal swab negative).
These findings have led the Stanford group to posit that sequestered but active infection in the GI tract elicits an ongoing immune inflammation that can affect the entire body but most specifically the areas that were most severely impacted with the early infection be it lungs, heart, brain, or other organ systems. If this turns out to be true then eradicating the GI infection should provide a cure for the long haulers.