There is news coming out about Long COVID every day and it can be hard to keep track of the latest news.. This page will be updated regularly with articles we generate as well as articles of significance from external news providers. We try to provide links that are openly accessible.
Australian government pledges $50m for long COVID research
In response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Long COVID and repeated COVID-19 infections, the Australian government has pledged a $50 million boost (from the Medical Research Future Fund) for research to be conducted on Long COVID. This will include an establishment of a single COVID-19 database along with a nationally coordinated research program into the condition.
Report confirms that up to two thirds of UK workers with Long COVID faced unfair treatment
According to a recent UK report, as of 2 January 2023, up to 2 million people had reported symptoms of Long COVID. The report warns that failing to accommodate those with Long COVID will create, “new, long-lasting inequalities”. Paul Nowak, the UK Trade Union Congress general secretary has stated that “Workers [in the UK] have been badly let down. Many of these are the key workers who carried us through the pandemic – yet now some are being forced out of their jobs”.
Belgium based researchers are working on evidence based Long COVID guidelines and care pathways
Researchers from KU Leuven, a research university in Belgium, have been working on developing evidence-based care guidelines that health professionals (GPs, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and dieticians) can follow when treating Long COVID patients. The Belgium based researchers are also developing a care pathway pilot which involves physiotherapists, speech therapists, dieticians, occupational therapists, psychologists and neuropsychologists.
Doctors faced with vacuum of information on Long COVID
There is a significant amount of ambiguity surrounding the root causes of Long COVID which is intensified by the challenge of the range of symptoms that are associated. This ambiguity has stunted efforts to advance research. Dr Ezekiel Emanual, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania has stated “the medical field also does not have a clear understanding of Long COVID in part because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) initially focused on its symptoms rather than the addressing the underlying problem”.
What we now know about Long COVID, according to experts
The respiratory physician, Dr Anthony Byrne, who leads the Long COVID clinic at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, has stated that over the past year, evidence suggests that Long COVID can also affect people who were not hospitalised, who were vaccinated and who are of different ages. He also stated that having an autoimmune condition, elevated levels of stress and experiencing five or more symptoms during initial COVID-19 infection, also increases Long COVID risk.
Long COVID study tests using exercise to overcome symptoms
The PERCEIVE study, based in Melbourne and Hobart, has been investigating how exercise may improve symptoms in people living with Long COVID. Although still in its pilot form, the study has shown promising results when it comes to helping people who have a reduced capacity for exercise after having COVID-19.
RACGP to advocate for more support at Long COVID Inquiry
The latest round of public hearings for The Parliamentary Inquiry into Long COVID and repeated COVID infections has recently begun and RACGP is set to present their submission. Professor Mark Morgan, the Chair of RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care, has stated that their submission will include a push for more clinical and professional support for GPs.
Does vaccination reduce Long COVID risk?
Findings based on a US cohort study of 1832 adults has suggested that people who are unvaccinated are at an increased risk of ongoing COVID-19 symptoms lasting 28 days or more after initial infection. Dr Ken McCroary, a member of the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care and lead GP on the college’s south – west Sydney Long COVID working group has stated “There’s no questions that now, whether you get access to [antiviral] medications or not, if you’re not vaccinated, your outcomes are always going to be statistically worse”.
Supporting a child with Long COVID
Although children and young people’s experiences of Long COVID will present differently and will therefore require specific needs, parents of Long COVID sufferers have offered a collection of tips that may be helpful starting points. They are as follows.
Believe your child
Resting is important
Seek support at school
Acknowledge mental health
Consider non-medical treatments
Seek information and support
‘Visible’ - the new Long COVID app
29 November 2022
An app called ‘Visible’, has recently been created by a team of people with lived experience of ‘invisible illness’, including Long COVID. This app has been designed to aid chronic disease sufferers to track their symptoms, and therefore, help manage the process of both collecting data and analysing how their symptoms change over time. Co-founder and CEO of Visible hopes the app will help to shine light on “invisible” illnesses.
Long COVID clinics wait time up to 11 months
10 November 2022
Long COVID clinics within Victoria now have a wait time of up to 11 months, with one clinic based at the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg closing its doors permanently due to a lack of funding. The co-lead of the Long COVID clinic at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Professor Steven has stated "we have been inundated – because of limited resources".
Lung Foundation Australia Survey hints at increased Long COVID burden
1 November 2022
A report that was conducted by the Lung Foundation Australia has confirmed that nearly half of the 2200 people surveyed have declared symptoms more than four weeks after initial COVID-19 infection – this is a much higher rate than previously thought. The report also states that support for those with ongoing symptoms is “lacking”. A respiratory expert and Lung Foundation Australia Board member claims “there are significant disparities and challenges across Australia that need to be addressed if we are to ensure equitable healthcare for all”.
WHO Chief urges immediate action to tackle Long Covid
13 October 2022
The head of the WHO has recently stated “On behalf of the scientific community, health workers and the patients with Long COVID WHO has worked with, I urge all leaders to seriously ramp up support so that we can minimise the suffering and improve the health of those affected so they can return to living their fullest lives."
PM Albanese lays out another $1.4 billion for pandemic health
18 September 2022
Healthcare providers and aged care homes are receiving additional funding. Although a large proportion of the budget will be allocated to the Aged Care Support Program, smaller components of the package include $48 million to extend respiratory clinics offered by GPs, $5 million for telehealth items to prescribe antiviral medicine and $5.5 million in additional rebates for face-to-face GP visits.
Long COVID declared a key focus area by the WHO
15 September 2022
World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said world leaders needed to act on six key focus areas to end COVID, which was officially declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 20 March 2020.
Dr Tedros identified Long COVID as the second of these key focus areas: “Clinical care - planning for surges and treating Long COVID.”
COVID-19 and National Immunisation Programme research projects
Manatu Hauora Ministry of Health
6 September 2022
The Ministry of Health have provided funding to researchers across New Zealand to undertake research examining the ongoing and long-term impacts of COVID-19. There are currently 23 projects that have been funded with a few specifically targeted at Long COVID research.
Immune signature of long COVID becoming clearer - Health with Dr Norman Swan
15 August 2022
As COVID-19 continues to spread, elements of the disease are becoming better understood from research and data.
This past week, all sorts of new studies have come out about the virus, including that the immune signature of long COVID may be becoming clearer.
People with Long COVID continue to experience medical gaslighting
Medical gaslighting occurs when health-care practitioners dismiss or falsely blame patients for their symptoms. According to research on how patients and their caregivers access information about Long COVID, medical gaslighting is a significant barrier.
Should eligibility for COVID-19 antivirals be expanded?
According to Professor Mike Toole, associate principal research fellow at the Burnet Institute, eligibility criteria for anti-viral prescription should be changed to reduce the likelihood of developing Long COVID. This sentiment is echoed by University of Melbourne epidemiologist, Nancy Baxter, as she states, “the restrictions on Paxlovid [anti-viral] use are excessive and should be changed prior to our next wave”.
Pilot study may determine viability of Long COVID management models
Objective data related to COVID-19 infection and Long COVID for decision makers to reference in order to make long term support plans is scarce. To address this issue, Dr Ken McCroary has been working as the GP lead on the South-Western Sydney PHN COVID Monitoring Project. This pilot study project has been tracking Long COVID symptoms and management, with a focus on practice nurses participating in patient management independent of GP presence.
Healing Long COVID is a marathon not a sprint
Nisreen Alwan who has both personal and professional experience with Long COVID, has shared his views on the recently published The Long COVID handbook which was written by expert patient, Gez Medinger and immunology professor Danny Altmann. Within his review of the book, Nisreen states “The revolutionary Long Covid patient advocacy movement that gave the condition its name and shaped its characterisation has resulted in a body of expert patients, like Medinger [author of The Long COVID Handbook], who are extremely effective communicators. As I have strongly argued, people with lived experience should have centre stage in shaping research and service pathways for their health condition.”
Long COVID inquiry hears definition of disease means people may miss window for early treatment
Long COVID has been widely defined as ongoing symptoms that last three months after the initial COVID-19 infection. According to The Royal Australian College of GPs, “waiting three months for a diagnosis means opportunities for early intervention can be missed”
Chief medical officer promises national plan to tackle Long COVID at inquiry
Federal health officials are currently in the process of developing an official strategy for how to manage the increasing cases of Long COVID. Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, has stated that a clearer Long COVID definition is required before moving forward "in order to provide more clarity, as well as more information for health professionals".
Federal funding for Long COVID care has expired – where to now?
Federal and state governments are yet to decide upon a strategy to sustainably support individuals living with Long COVID. The Victorian state government has recently declared that it had been using the Federal funding that had expired late 2022 to pay for the states Long COVID care. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews states he will continue to lobby Canberra for further healthcare funding.
1 in 10 people will end up with Long COVID
According to a recent report that was published in the academic journal Nature Reviews Microbiology, one in 10 people will end up with Long COVID. The Australian infectious disease Professor and CEO of the Burnet Institute, Brendan Crabb, has stated that the report should “prompt a rethink of Australia’s relaxed attitude towards COVID-19".
Calls for greater government support for patients living with invisible illnesses like Long COVID
Recent statistics have highlighted that a projected half a million people across the country could be living with Long COVID by the end of the year. ‘The Australian Medical Association is calling for GPs to be given greater support to help patients with chronic and hidden illnesses.’
Federal funding dries up for Long COVID clinics
24 November 2022
The Victorian Health Department has estimated that more than 1 in 200, or roughly 40,000, Victorians have been affected by severe Long COVID this year. The Victorian Health Department has recently warned that "more funding is required for hospitals and GPs to deal with COVID-related illness”
How Long COVID is affecting young people
9 November 2022
Data has shown that 2.7% of people aged 17-24 and 3.6% of those aged 25-34 have symptoms at least four weeks after an infection. As cognitive symptoms such as brain fog and a reduced work output are commonly associated with Long COVID, young people who are establishing their careers may be among those who feel these impacts the most.
Supporting a friend or loved one with Long COVID
25 October 2022
Long COVID doesn’t just affect the individual with the condition – it can also be hard on their loved ones. Below are four tips on how to best support a friend, family member, or partner struggling with Long COVID.
Create a safe space
Encourage (but don’t force) connections
Offer practical help
Long COVIDs hidden toll in NZ
6 October 2022
Health researchers are "shining crucial new light" on the impacts that Long COVID is posing on the population of New Zealand. Experts have warned it could cast a decades-long shadow beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, with one likening the country's potential healthcare needs to a "flood of Noah-like proportions".
Monique Ryan calls for national summit on coronavirus amid Long COVID fears
14 September 2022
“Off the back of the success of the jobs and skills summit, I think it would be appropriate and timely to take the same approach to Covid,” Ryan, the member for Kooyong, told Guardian Australia.
Dr Ryan has expressed concern over longer-term problems of workplace absenteeism and strain on the health system.
Reducing the impact of Long COVID is among the five reasons why young people should get a COVID booster vaccine.
13 September 2022
Despite its importance and key role in Long COVID prevention, research has shown that compared to those over the age of 70, young adults are less likely to be fully vaccinated.
$31.5 million boost for COVID-19 and Long COVID research
Australian Department of Health and Aged Care
30 August 2022
The Albanese Government announced financial support for medical researchers to further understand both COVID-19 and the impact of Long COVID.
The Medical Research Fund (MRFF) is providing $31.5 million to support 14 research grants.
Long-COVID sufferers unable to access disability payments say they need more support
22 July 2022
Many people like Jayson Cumming have been severly affected by Long COVID.
There is limited immediate support or relief for Long COVID sufferers as they wait for research to progress
Some are facing financial stress but are unable to access disability support
Long COVID puts some people at a higher risk of developing heart disease
Research has confirmed that a small subset of Long COVID patients will go on to develop more life-threatening disorders such as cardiovascular disease (includes heart attacks and strokes). Several studies have also stated that there may be hidden pathology which may elevate a person's risk that will only emerge with age. Based on these facts, it is important that people are regularly monitored after their initial COVID-19 infection and that a registry should be established to facilitate research and healthcare for people at risk.
Long COVID sufferers in Wales aided by sessions with opera singers
A Welsh National Opera (WNO) project has been established to provide Long COVID patients with the techniques and strategies that are used by performers to support lung function, breath control, circulation and posture. This project, delivered over Zoom, has involved over 100 participants and has proven to be a great success. A participant of this project states, “this is the first positive thing I have done for the last two years”.
Long COVID: 3 years in
A recent editorial published in the Lancet has suggested that in the absence of specific treatment options for Long COVID, we should be placing our attention on preventative measures – keeping COVID-19 cases in the low numbers and encouraging vaccination – as well as focusing on patient-centred multidisciplinary care.
We got some key things wrong about Long COVID
Below are five aspects of Long COVID that we now know since the beginning of the pandemic.
It can take months to recover lung function – and some people never do
COVID-19 infection can increase the risk of or worsen chronic diseases such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes
Long COVID isn’t a single disorder but rather a complex condition that includes impaired immunity, the development of autoantibodies, persistence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the presence of micro clots.
We need to resource treatment adequately
COVID-19 shouldn’t be dismissed as a psychological problem
Should the antiviral drug be made widely available?
The Sydney Morning Herald
Despite no proven treatments for Long COVID, one drug has demonstrated positive results and could act as a potential treatment. A study (yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal) has found that by administering the anti-viral drug, Paxlovid to patients with COVID-19, the risk of developing long COVID-19 was reduced by 26 percent.
Long COVID causing job losses and homelessness in Australia, inquiry hears
Labor MP Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah spoke at the inquiry's third public hearing on Friday, stating "I think we're going to probably land on a recommendation that we obviously need national guidelines...and perhaps living guidelines that keep evolving as the data keeps coming in".
Can diet change help manage Long COVID symptoms?
According to a recent article, some people affected by Long COVID are adjusting their diets to manage their symptoms. These diets include the anti-inflammatory diet, the low histamine diet and the plant-based diet. Despite the differences across all three, their intentions all seem to lie in reducing inflammatory processes within the body and favourably altering immune function. Although there has been some research in the field of lifestyle change, including nutrition, and its effect on managing Long COVID symptoms, further research is certainly required before specific recommendations can be made.
Long COVID stems from milder COVID-19 cases, according to a new research study
A recent study has confirmed that even mild cases of COVID-19 can lead to long-lasting effects on people's health. According to the research findings, up to 90% of people who are living with Long COVID only experienced a mild initial COVID-19 infection.
Young artist uses art to make sense of her Long COVID condition
A young 17-year-old artist based in the UK has channelled her experience of Long COVID into her artist expression. The young artists work has been described as “an exhibition of her art on display at the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn is a window into her world and the canvases explore Long COVID from her unique perspectives.”
Long COVID and stigma
24 November 2022
UK based researchers have found that up to 95% of Long COVID suffers have experienced some form of stigma, whilst 76%have reported experiencing it “often” or “always”. Dr Marija Pantelic, a UK lecturer in the field of public health at Brighton and Sussex Medical school has stated that “the stigma attached to Long COVID is harming people living with Long COVID and is likely to leave a devastating mark on our society and health service provision”.
Long COVID needs to be recognised by employers and pension schemes
2 November 2022
The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has led to many employers to return to pre-pandemic “presenteeism and management observation”. This approach has resulted in individuals who are affected by Long COVID to feel somewhat left behind. A union rep states, “I’ve seen many people who are falling through the cracks because employers don’t have policies to deal with them”.
America's top disease expert says Long COVID is an 'insidious’ public health emergency
17 October 2022
Dr Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert has emphasised the need to avoid complacency and ensure that funding for COVID-19 and Long COVID is continued. Although research is underway, Dr Fauci states, "there are more unanswered questions than there are answered questions" and that "the non-specificity and the vagueness of this is its own worst enemy".
Coping with Long COVID: 10 strategies for academics
Times higher Education
30 September 2022
The professor in the sociology of architecture at University College London, Kerstin Sailor, has offered 10 pieces of advice for scholars living with the symptoms associated with Long COVID. Her advice ranges from the importance of rest to challenging the ableist culture in academia. Kerstin urges academic institutions to develop more inclusive and collective practices around healthy environments for everyone.
A Neurologist's quest to solve the mystery of COVID-19's most puzzling complication
15 September 2022
Long COVID is now America’s third leading neurological disorder. Neurologist Igor Koralnik understands the severity of this condition and is at the forefront of the quest to better understand Long COVIDs effects on the brain. At the end of May 2022, there were 82.5 million COVID-19 survivors in the United States, and 30 percent of them – about 24.8 million – experienced Long COVID.
Long COVID costs the economy $100 million per week
Australian Financial Review
9 September 2022
Analysis prepared for the AFR Weekend by Impact Economics and Policy estimates Long COVID is costing the economy $100 million a week in lost economic output. This is based on Treasury’s estimations of the number of days workers are taking in sick leave from Long COVID.
Ministerial acknowledgement of Long COVID’s economic impact
Press conference transcript - The Treasury
26 August 2022
Political leaders are increasingly becoming aware of Long COVID’s economic impact. Responding to new Treasury data, and speaking of the need to consider Long COVID in an economic and productivity sense.
'Long COVID' presents a major health challenge - how can Australia be prepared?
The University of Sydney
30 June 2022
Attention needed to support growing number of Australians with Long COVID
Triple vaccination seems to reduce the chance of long COVID - but we still need to prepare for a jump in cases, write researchers at the University of Sydney