What is Long COVID?

Photo of in mask and gloves holding a potted plant by Uriel Mont from Pexels

Long COVID describes long-term symptoms following a Covid-19 infection. Long COVID is a complex chronic illness that shares many similarities with (or can lead to) known complex chronic conditions like myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS). Like other post-viral and infection-initiated conditions, research shows that Long COVID can be triggered by a mild or even asymptomatic infection.

Long COVID and associated diseases (LCAD) are estimated to develop in 12-30% of all Covid-19 cases. Over 10 million people in the United States alone could be experiencing LCAD. Many will not fully recover, and most are facing drastic care shortages and institutional bias – including skepticism that these illnesses even exist. Requiring history of a positive PCR test results to validate LCAD is a biased approach that does not consider gender disparities in testing accuracy or testing access issues – which tend to impact marginalized populations more significantly. LCAD may still develop from Omicron infections and in fully vaccinated individuals. It can affect children, adults and elders. Read more about why we should still be concerned about Long COVID in co-founder JD Davids’ op-ed for The Guardian.