Long COVID or post COVID condition is a set of conditions seen in those who are infected with the COVID causing coronavirus. It is also known as PASC or post-acute sequelae of COVID and is characterized by extreme fatigue, and brain fog.
195 adults diagnosed with COVID and 951 adults diagnosed with flu were followed for 12 weeks
For the study, the researchers followed up more than 1000 individuals for 12 weeks and found that a fifth of them, in both the groups of those who were infected with COVID and flu, reported ongoing symptoms and 4% in each of the group “reported having moderate to severe functional limitations in everyday life.”
Severe COVID is associated with THIS life threatening disease
“No evidence to prove that Omicron infection leads to severe post-infection than flu”
“After controlling for influential factors including age, sex, First Nations status, vaccination status, and socio-economic profile (based on postcode), the analysis found no evidence to suggest that adults with Omicron were more likely to have ongoing symptoms or moderate to severe functional limitations at 12 weeks after their diagnosis than adults who had influenza,” the researchers have said.
Younger population is more likely to report post viral illness after flu
In a sharp contrast to what is being said about post COVID condition and ignore about post-flu condition, the researchers said that the analyses suggested that younger age groups and non-indigenous populations were more likely to report moderate to severe functional limitations after influenza than Omicron.
Vaccination might be the reason
The researchers have said underlying illness and flu vaccination status may have influenced the results.
“The researchers also note the growing evidence that the risk of long COVID has been lower during the Omicron wave compared with earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants, and because the vast majority of people in Queensland were vaccinated when the Omicron variant emerged, the lower severity of long COVID could be due to vaccination and/or the Omicron variant,” the release said.
The study was done on the residents of Queensland, Australia where close to 90% were vaccinated during the Omicron led COVID wave.
What are the symptoms of long COVID?
Though the burden of long COVID seems not to be there in the Omicron era, there is a vulnerable section of the population like elderly people and those with a compromised immunity system.
These people should be immediately taken to a hospital when symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive dysfunction are seen. Studies have found more than 200 different symptoms associated with long COVID. Around 10-20% of the people infected with COVID go on to develop long COVID.
How to prevent long COVID?
Long COVID can be prevented by adopting healthy measures like wearing a mask, avoiding going near infected people, keeping the indoor air properly ventilated, taking care of those who are vulnerable but at the same time taking care of your own health as well.
In case of any symptom, do not hesitate to see a doctor.