So Called ‘Long COVID’ A Bigger Problem Than Many Know

So Called ‘Long COVID’ A Bigger Problem Than Many Know

A professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, Tim Spector, argues that accumulating evidence from huge volumes of patient data indicate that about one in 50 people who contract SARS-CoV-2 fight off symptoms three months or more after initial infection. That data originates from the ‘COVID Symptom Tracker App’ study. Associated symptoms of breathlessness, chronic fatigue, muscle aches and a lack of ability to concentrate lingers in many long after the initial COVID-19 infection. In the UK, a substantial number of COVID-19 patients are put on short-term disability.

COVID Symptom Tracker App

The Times reported that an app used to track COVID-19 symptoms is used by approximately 4 million individuals in the UK and that, according to associated yet unpublished data, about 12% of COVID-19 patients struggle with symptoms 30 days after onset of infection while one in 50 (2%) of all those infected with COVID, at least in the UK, face “long-COVID symptoms after 90 days.” Known as the “COVID Symptom Study,” Prof. Tim Spector (KCL) Prof. Andrew Chan (Harvard) and Prof. Christopher Gardner (Stanford) lead this important effort initiated by teams from Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, King’s College London and Stanford University School of Medicine in collaboration with a health science-based patient engagement company called ZOE

Long COVID Study in Rome, Italy

Researchers from the Geriatrics Department, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, found in an observational study that 87.4% of recovered COVID-19 cases reported persistence of at least one symptom, with fatigue and dyspnea common. The observational, single-center study has a number of limitations including size, lack of a control group, etc.

Research/Investigator Profile

COVID Symptom Study

Tim Spector, MB, MSc, MD, FRCP, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London and Director of TwinsUK

Professor Andrew Chan, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, CTEU Massachusetts General Hospital

Professor Christopher Gardner, PhD, Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Prevention Research Center

Call to Action: If you think you have long COVID and live in the UK, talk to your doctor and review the NHS’ “Your COVID Recovery” for more information about the management of this situation.


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