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SBS News: Long COVID lingers: Australia’s quest for answers

Published: 5 October 2023

New research from RMIT University in Melbourne says Australia is lagging behind in how it deals with the impact of Long COVID. Research suggests up to 40 per cent of people who contract COVID-19 experience lingering symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath and brain fog.

Emerge Australia CEO Anne Wilson spoke with the SBS about her frustrations that Australia is lagging behind many other countries worldwide and also about the need for improved GP Education

“Both ME/CFS and Long COVID are post-infection diseases. And Emerge Australia has been arguing for about 18 months now, that Australia needs a national, post-infection disease strategy. We were very pleased recently to discover that Yale, in the United States has now set up an entire division of post-infection disease to look at ME/CFS, and Long COVID, and other diseases that fall into the post-infection disease category.”

Ms Wilson says that too often, patients who present with symptoms such as fatigue, trembling, or brain fog are often misdiagnosed with anxiety.

Multicultural communities face even greater challenges. “For those people who do have English as their first language, there are huge barriers to receiving appropriate care. If you add people from culturally and linguistically diverse groups to that, including our First Nations people, you have a very grim picture. Very grim. And it would be very dependent on the knowledge of the clinician to whom they go.”

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