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Because COVID-19 itself is still relatively new, understanding long COVID will take time, but some promising developments are on the horizon.

For instance, the White House has announced a plan to form a government-wide response to study and treat the long-term effects of COVID-19, including mustering the resources of the Department of Health and Human Services and the creation of an interagency research agenda.

“Right now, we do not have a one pill fix for long COVID,” Leong said. “There are new findings of possible pathophysiology of long COVID. However, there are still ongoing clinical trials for treatment.”

One possible treatment is the use of antivirals to treat long COVID.

At least two people with long COVID reported their symptoms clearing following a five-day course of Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid. The medication has so far proven to be effective in treating symptoms from an initial bout with COVID-19.

However, researchers cautioned that the success of Paxlovid only indicates the necessity of clinical trials to explore the potential effectiveness of the drug for long COVID.

Other therapies may also show promise.

And as frustrating as it may be right now for people with long COVID, patience may be key to better health outcomes.

“We are just at the beginning of what appears will be a long and often challenging journey when it comes to the care of patients with long COVID,” Dr. Walt Hadikin, the director of clinical communications at medical app company Epocrates, told Healthline. “Clinicians will need to be comfortable not having all the answers and be open to the influx of new info, evidence, and guidance over the coming months and years.”

“To prevent COVID survivors from feeling forgotten, I believe that experts ought to convey a balanced message: Though we may be progressing to a new, and less acute, phase of this pandemic which is most welcome and a reason to celebrate, attention now needs to be turned to care for all of those suffering the after-effects of COVID-19,” he added.

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