Lack of data hinders long Covid response

From The Saturday Paper, 18 February 2023:

In historical accounts of the 1918 influenza pandemic, references can be found to people experiencing exhaustion, nervous complications, apathy and depression for weeks, even months, after they recovered from infection.

And reports of persistent, chronic fatigue-like symptoms have emerged following the major respiratory disease outbreaks of the past two decades: the first SARS epidemic in the early 2000s, MERS since 2012, and the H1N1 influenza – swine flu – pandemic of 2009. Those symptoms have been known to last months and even more than a year after infection.

There has been no shortage of warnings that viral infections have a sting in their tail: those who survive the acute infection are at elevated risk of long-term, chronic, debilitating illness. And yet in the federal government’s 2019 influenza pandemic management plan there is not one mention of post-viral illness, chronic fatigue or long-term illness resulting from infection. It’s a glaring omission, and one that left a gaping hole in Australia’s pandemic response. Read more (paywall).

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