Queries over long COVID prevalence in Australia

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Description

An international review estimates that 'at least' one in 10 people with COVID-19 will develop lasting symptoms, but that may overstate the risk...

Professor Mark Morgan, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care (REC-QC), says the situation may differ in Australia.
 
‘Luckily, in Australia, the proportion of people who have lasting symptoms or develop symptoms following acute COVID infection appears to be lower,’ Professor Morgan told newsGP.
 
‘This might be because Australia kept a lid on the spread of COVID during the Alpha and Delta waves.
 
‘Many people were vaccinated prior to Australia letting COVID rip through the community.’

Subject

Long COVID

 

Period16 Jan 2023

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleQueries over long COVID prevalence in Australia
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletNews GP
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryAustralia
    Date16/01/23
    DescriptionAn international review estimates that 'at least' one in 10 people with COVID-19 will develop lasting symptoms, but that may overstate the risk. A major review into long COVID has given a ‘conservative’ estimate that at least 10% of people with COVID-19 will develop post-infection sequelae, although queries remain about the figure and its application to Australia.

    The article, published on Friday in Nature Reviews Microbiology, looks at existing studies, with its authors estimating long COVID prevalence at 10–30% of non-hospitalised COVID-19 cases, 50–70% of hospitalised cases, and 10–12% of vaccinated cases. They conclude that up to half of patients with long COVID could be described as meeting criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)...
    Professor Morgan is the co-Chair of Primary and Chronic Care Expert panel of Australia’s Clinical Evidence Taskforce, and said the Taskforce is keeping ‘a close eye on emerging evidence’ to help prevent and treat post-COVID conditions.

    ‘As patterns of post-COVID conditions emerge, it is likely different treatments will be needed,’ he said.

    He also warned of a significant risk that patients could be exposed to ‘limited evidence-based treatments’ with little benefit due to long COVID being an emerging area of medicine.

    ‘Some of these therapies might be harmful and most will be expensive,’ he said.
    Producer/AuthorJolyon Attwooll
    PersonsMark Morgan