«It is time TO STOP USING terms like ‘long COVID’»

… indistinguishable from seasonal influenza and other respiratory illnesses

… with no evidence of increased moderate-to-severe functional limitations a year after infection

… new research being presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2024) in Barcelona, Spain (27-30 April)

… study by Queensland Health researchers

… The findings add to previous research by the same authors and published in BMJ Public Health

… found no difference in ongoing symptoms

… functional impairment

… when COVID-19 was compared with influenza,12 weeks post infection

… Symptoms reported with the illness include fatigue

… brain fog

… cough, shortness of breath

… change to smell and taste

… dizziness, and rapid or irregular heartbeat

… between 29 May and 25 June 2022 surveyed 5,112 symptomatic individuals

…  with PCR-confirmed infection for COVID-19 (2,399 adults)

… PCR negative for COVID-19 (2,713:

… 995 influenza positive and 1,718 PCR negative for both

… but symptomatic with a respiratory illness)

… A year after their PCR test, in May and June 2023

… 16% (834/5,112) of all respondents reported ongoing symptoms a year later,

… 3.6% (184) reported moderate-to-severe functional impairment  in their activities of daily life

… After controlling for influential factors including age, sex

… found no evidence that COVID-19 positive adults were more likely to have moderate-to-severe functional limitations

… than symptomatic adults who were negative for COVID-19 (3.0% vs 4.1%)

… Moreover, results were similar when compared with the 995 symptomatic adults who had influenza (3.0% vs 3.4%)

… “with highly vaccinated populations, long COVID may have appeared to be a distinct and severe illness because of high volumes of COVID-19 cases”

… “we found that … are indistinguishable from other post-viral illnesses”

… “we believe it is time to stop using terms like ‘long COVID’”

… “They wrongly imply there is something unique and exceptional about longer term symptoms associated with this virus. This terminology can cause unnecessary fear”


                    BMJ Public Health