September 27, 2022
Despite the uncertainty, there is hope for long COVID patients

As the world came to grips with the news of the pandemic unfolding in early 2020, online chatter among patients who were experiencing lingering symptoms after contracting COVID-19 began to spring up on social media.

The term “long COVID” was first used by Dr. Elisa Perego in Lombardy, Italy as a Twitter hashtag in May 2020 to describe her experience of COVID-19 infection as cyclical, progressive, and multiphasic. In other words, it was taking longer than anticipated for her to recover with symptoms that would come and go.

Further evidence of COVID-19 survivors experiencing similar long-term symptoms resulted in support groups popping up on other social media platforms such as Facebook.

To date, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates one in 10 people who have had the virus continues to feel unwell after 12 weeks. While the WHO uses the term “post-COVID-19” to describe lingering symptoms after initial infection from contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, their definition states this condition occurs usually three months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms that last for at least two months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.

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