Professor John D. Potter*
Potter J. Long COVID: Century-old Lessons We Still Have Not Learned. Public Health Expert Blog. 30 June 2022. https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/long-covid-century-old-lessons-we-still-have-not-learned/
This long-read blog updates what is known about long COVID – now informed by some very large studies and a meta-analysis. The two most concerning aspects of long COVID are its high prevalence (up to 30% of those infected) and, as reinfection is increasingly common, a dose-response relationship between the number of infections and the increased risk of harmful outcomes. Such findings reinforce the continuing need for government action and individual commitment to the core preventive measures of: vaccination, mask use inside public places, and physical distancing where possible.
Prof John D. Potter*
Long COVID occurs in at least 20-30% of individuals who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and is strongly related to the severity of the initial illness. There are insufficient data to provide a trajectory or a timeline for duration and resolution. The downstream damage can affect: brain, heart, lungs, pancreatic beta cells (resulting in diabetes), muscles, the immune system, eyes, kidneys, and erectile tissue. There is, to date, quite consistent evidence that vaccination is wholly or partly protective against long COVID, whether vaccination occurs before or after COVID-19. A society wanting to minimise the health and cost burden of managing long COVID would therefore choose to maximise vaccination coverage as well as minimise risk of infection with standard public health and social measures.
Robyn Whittaker, Rosie Dobson, Felicity Oh, Sharon Russell, Karen Carter, Penny Andrew*
Long COVID (LC) is becoming a substantial issue internationally and many countries are establishing dedicated health services to support people with the condition. In this blog, we discuss what LC services look like overseas and identify key components and considerations for the development of high quality and culturally appropriate LC services in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ).