Long Covid and Chronic Illnesses

Almost two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, we are beginning to see more and more individuals living with Long Covid symptoms – people never fully recovering from the effects of the virus.

Healthcare professionals worldwide have begun to develop resources, counselling, and medication to assist those who are experiencing effects from long-Covid.


What do we know?

Studies have been taking place throughout 2021 to find out exactly how long Long Covid lasts, with no definitive answer yet. However, the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 44% of those testing positively for Covid still had at least one symptom 30 to 45-days later. In comparison, 39% still experienced symptoms as much as 7 to 9-months later.
Many individuals have reported feeling brain fog, fatigue, insomnia and flu-like symptoms. This has led healthcare professionals to discover similarities between Long Covid and other existing chronic illnesses.

Fibromyalgia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and dysautonomia are just some of the fatigue-based illnesses that have been found to have similarities with Covid and joint pain and extreme tiredness.

In July 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services in America published guidance stating that Long Covid could be considered as a disability.


What happens if you live with a chronic illness AND Long Covid?

Some healthcare experts have noted a significant issue for sufferers of a chronic illness or neurological conditions and Long Covid. In contrast, others say it is simply being confused with other conditions.
Many patients now feel that experiencing symptoms of Long Covid will provide more insight into their long-standing chronic illness and potentially prompt further investigation. Healthcare systems across the world are struggling to keep up with the ‘day to day’ operations, illnesses and requests of patients, as well as the influx of Coronavirus patients – both long and short-term.

Elisa Perego from University College London has explored Long Covid in her research. Chronically ill pre-pandemic, she experienced cardiovascular issues, arthritis, and more and battling Long Covid.


There is hope from those living with a chronic or major illness that the interest in Long Covid will result in more understanding of other illnesses.