Long covid is strange and mysterious in part because of a lack of investment in researching post-viral syndromes like chronic fatigue syndrome – it is time to change that…
Now the stories of “long-haulers” have become a central component of how scientists, doctors and policymakers view long-term effects of the coronavirus.
As a current article in the journal Social Science & Medicine explains, researchers are scrambling to keep up with what patients report in online support groups such as Ms. Watson’s. Co-author Elisa Perego, a research associate at University College London, is a long-hauler herself, and dubbed the post-viral condition “long Covid” on Twitter in May. Both “long-haulers” and “long Covid” are fast becoming standard terminology in the medical field.
Kate Porter, a digital marketer from Beverly, Mass., and an administrator for Ms. Watson’s group, has watched as the “long-hauler” term has exploded in popularity. Ms. Porter, who tracks the latest research and policy initiatives on the Covid-19 Recovery Awareness website, told me, “Even if it’s not necessarily the most scientific term, you get the gist right away—you don’t even need to really explain it.”
Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary care health sciences at the University of Oxford has been a powerhouse of covid-19 evidence synthesis. She pulled together advice on doing remote consultations, on wearing masks to prevent spread, and a host of other information. She’s now turning her attention to “long-covid” – it’s becoming apparent that it’s not just an acute infection, patients are reporting chronic long term consequences of having the virus.
In this podcast, she describes what we know about long-covid, where the uncertainty lies, and what clinicians should be doing to help patients who are experiencing the symptoms.
Management of post-acute covid-19 in primary care https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3026