Article by Emily Sakzewski, published by the ABC News online October 18, 2021 

Long COVID is ruining lives, but it also presents Australia with an opportunity

Daily COVID press briefings have seen us become hooked on figures: new cases, total cases, hospitalisations, ICU patients.

This makes it easy to think of having COVID-19 in one of two ways: either you catch the disease, have a terrible time with it but recover after 14 days, or it hits you so hard you need to be hospitalised, possibly on a ventilator.

But there's a grey area in between that is rarely discussed — a third scenario where you recover from an acute COVID-19 infection but are still dealing with symptoms months later.

It's called Long COVID, often Long-haul COVID and sometimes Post Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC).

Last week the World Health Organisation announced a definition for what it calls "post COVID-19 condition", affecting people at least two months after a COVID-19 infection with symptoms that “cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis”. 

Experts say Long COVID is likely a number of different pathologies, with different symptoms — like fatigue, dizziness or muscle spasms — thought to be caused by different problems. 

It affects between 2.3 per cent to 76 per cent of people who get COVID-19, with women seemingly more susceptible than men.

Still, we don't know why someone who may have had a very mild illness would go on to develop long-term COVID symptoms.

That's the case for Melbourne mum Judy Li, who told the ABC that after getting COVID-19 in 2020, she still experiences sporadic bouts of intense and debilitating fatigue.

At its worst, the fatigue puts her in a state of near paralysis and unable to get out of bed — and stops her from going to work and playing with her young children.

The worst part is there's no indication of when it will end and no medical answers for what Judy's going through.

Read the full article here

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