By David Tuller, DrPH
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting an equivalence between COVID-19 and influenza has been a consistent approach among those seeking to downplay the current situation. So it’s not surprising to see something similar happen with comparisons between Long COVID and the delayed recovery some people experience after an acute bout of the flu. The BBC has just provided an excellent example of how this framing can appear to minimize the significance of Long COVID.
An article in PLoS Medicine, published on September 28th, offered a look at Long COVID symptoms based on data from US electronic health records. The study, called “Incidence, co-occurrence, and evolution of long-COVID features: A 6-month retrospective cohort study of 273,618 survivors of COVID-19,” tracked nine key symptom clusters: “breathing difficulties/breathlessness, fatigue/malaise, chest/throat pain, headache, abdominal symptoms, myalgia, other pain, cognitive symptoms, and anxiety/depression.”