This article was the first scientific paper to examine and compare the symptoms of ME/CFS and Long COVID, finding "high degree of similarities” between the two conditions. The authors compared the symptoms reported in 21 studies of Long COVID with a compilation of 29 symptoms found in ME/CFS. They found three of the major symptoms of ME/CFS (fatigue, reduced daily activity and post-exertional malaise) were reported in several of the Long COVID studies. In addition, 25 out of the 29 ME/CFS symptoms were reported in at least one Long COVID study. These findings indicate significant overlap between ME/CFS and Long COVID.  

This high degree of similarity between ME/CFS and Long COVID is significant for three reasons. First, ME/CFS shows the impact of living with such a chronic illness. Conservative estimates suggest 10% of people with COVID-19 will develop Long COVID, which will have a devastating impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide.

Second, existing knowledge about how to treat and manage ME/CFS may benefit the millions of people with Long COVID, especially developing an energy management plan and learning to pace.

Third, people with ME/CFS may benefit from public interest and research about Long COVID. If a drug is found to help people with Long COVID, it might finally offer the first, proven treatment for people with ME/CFS.

More research into symptom and biological similarities between ME/CFS and Long COVID is needed. Confirming these similarities may create a symbiotic relationship, where advances made in each medical illness benefits people with both ME/CFS and Long COVID.

Read the full article here:

Wong, T.L.; Weitzer, D.J. Long COVID and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)—A Systemic Review and Comparison of Clinical Presentation and Symptomatology. Medicina 2021, 57, 418. 

Emerge Australia is a national organisation providing education, advocacy, research and support services for Australians living with ME/CFS. With the medical and media spotlight currently on Long COVID it is finally bringing ME/CFS out of the shadows and highlighting how proper funding and new research is decades overdue.

Emerge Australia is determined to seize this moment to help transform the lives of the estimated 250,000 Australians living with ME/CFS and other post-viral fatigue conditions. Please support our campaign, by sharing it amongst your networks to keep the conversation flowing. And if you possibly can, please make a donation to help people with a disease strikingly similar to Long COVID, except hardly anyone has heard of it. You can keep up to date with the campaign and Emerge Australia's work by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. You can read similar articles to this by visiting our ME/CFS and Long COVID page