United States: According to health officials, “Long COVID” is a term that needs to be discarded like an old and no longer effective stack of expired N95 masks, as the symptoms of patients who were sick for a year were no different from the typical symptoms of a virus such as flu.

Moreover, several medical researchers backed by the Australian government urged using less fear-provoking terms such as “Covid fatigue” for the condition.

‘Long COVID’ term gained popularity

The term ‘Long COVID’ gained popularity after a high number of people tested positive for COVID-19, leading to a surge in generally non-severe virus fatigue symptoms that would typically have gone unnoticed, as reported by the South West News Service.

Dr. John Gerrard, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer overseeing the newly-released study, said, “We believe it is time to stop using terms like ‘Long COVID’.”

Further, “this terminology can cause unnecessary fear, and in some cases, hyper-vigilance to longer symptoms that can impede recovery,” Gerrard said, as the New York Post reported.

Researchers surveyed for the symptoms

With meticulous care, the researchers at Queensland Health conducted a comprehensive survey of 5,112 persons, all of whom were experiencing symptoms and aged 18 years and older, to conclude their condition.

The patients reported symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, cough, shortness of breath, inability to smell or taste properly, dizziness, as well as rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Researchers recruited their subjects from a pool of sick people who had tested for the COVID-19 virus in May 2022 and who had been either positive or negative. One year later, these research partners asked the participants about their virus symptoms and quality of life.

Concerningly, 16 percent of the surveyed group reported being symptomatic at the beginning of 2023, whereas 3.6 percent of the respondents claimed experiencing “moderate to severe functional impairment” in their daily lives.

Long COVID and flu have similar symptoms

Visual Representation | Credit | Getty images

There was no indication that adults who had Covid-19 in 2022 were reporting the same level of impairment at a higher percentage than the adults who only had the flu or those who tested negative.

A way that suggests Australia has a lower rate of diagnosed “Long COVID” than other countries is that the Australian government imposed tight restraints on movement during the pandemic, as the New York Post reported.

The work is scheduled to be completed and presented this coming month at the European Congress that took place last year in Barcelona, Spain.

Gerrard added, “In health systems with highly vaccinated populations, long COVID may have appeared to be a distinct and severe illness because of high volumes of COVID-19 cases during the pandemic,” as the New York Post reported.

He further added, “However, we found that the rates of ongoing symptoms and functional impairment are indistinguishable from other post-viral illnesses.”

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


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