No such thing as 'long Covid', health agency says in shock statement: 'Unnecessary fear'

Health

Follow the science – out the door.

The term “long covid” should be tossed out like a stack of expired N95 masks – according to health experts in one country who found that after a year the symptoms of those infected were no different from your typical virus. fever

Government-backed medical researchers in Australia say it's time to stop using the fear-mongering phrase, which gained popularity after large numbers of people were tested for Covid-19, leading to a rise in the usually non-severe “virus fatigue symptoms”. went unnoticed, the South West News Service reported.

An Australian government agency study has found that symptoms in people with so-called “long-term Covid” are no different from those who have recovered from other viral illnesses. brizmaker – stock.adobe.com

“We believe it's time to stop using terms like 'long Covid,'” said Dr John Gerrard, Queensland's chief health officer who oversaw the newly published study.

“They falsely suggest that there is something unique and exceptional about the chronic symptoms associated with this virus,” he explained.

“These terms can cause unnecessary fear and, in some cases, hyper-awareness for prolonged symptoms that prevent recovery,” Gerrard warns.

Queensland Health researchers looked at 5,112 people aged 18 and over with symptoms.

Reported symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, coughing, shortness of breath, changes in smell and taste, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

In late spring 2022, the researchers drew their subjects from a group of sick Australians who tested positive and negative for Covid-19 and questioned them about their symptoms and quality of life a year later.

Queensland Health researchers collated their findings with thousands of sufferers. bizoo_n – stock.adobe.com

Sixteen percent of respondents reported experiencing symptoms in the spring of 2023, while 3.6 percent reported “moderate-to-severe functional impairment” in their daily lives.

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No evidence was found that adults who tested positive in 2022 experienced this increased level of impairment at a higher rate than those who tested negative or simply had the flu.

The study noted that due to the tight restrictions imposed by the Australian government during the pandemic, the rates of “long covid” detected were lower than in other countries.

The completed document is due to be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Barcelona next month in 2024.

“Prolonged Covid may have emerged as a distinct and severe disease in health settings with highly vaccinated populations, with high rates of COVID-19 cases during pandemics,” Gerrard said.

Experts said the term came into use after a large number of people simultaneously struggled to recover from Covid-19, with the long recovery period some experience after the virus often goes unnoticed. Nicholas Felix/peopleimages.com – stock.adobe.com

“However, we found that rates of ongoing symptoms and functional impairment were indistinguishable from other post-viral illnesses,” he continued.

“These findings underscore the importance of comparing post-Covid-19 outcomes with other respiratory infections, and further research into post-viral syndromes.”

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