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Interviewer: Professor Altmann, thank you for taking the time today to record this interview on
the potential long-term health problems following a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
What could be some of the long-term health issues that individuals who
have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 have and for how long?
Prof. Altmann: Yes, so the answer is that we are in completely uncharted territory here.
Obviously, we hadn't seen any COVID-19 disease until February and March last winter,
and we don't know what to expect,
so we're all guessing.
You'll be aware of an enormous range of symptoms that are being talked about.
From wheezing and breathlessness to brain fog and joint pain.
It goes on and on and on.
I think some people are predicting that this may be a story that
goes on for months and other people are worried that may go on for years.
As I said, completely uncharted territory.
Interviewer: What are some of the indications,
or the molecular basis for people
believing that this could go on for a substantial amount of time?
Prof. Altmann: To answer that question, I'm going to take
a tangential view about the way that we became interested in a long COVID.
So we're immunologists and we're immunologists who are
interested in lots of different infectious diseases around the world.
One of the ones that we work on quite a lot is done collaboratively
with people in Brazil and in Brazil they have a lot of different mosquito-borne diseases.
One of them is a little bit like Dengue and Zika,
and it's called Chikungunya.