The long-term impacts of Covid-19 have familiar parallels. Long Covid has overlapping symptoms with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS
), a complex and often debilitating illness that can follow viral infections. The CDC estimates
women are diagnosed with ME/CFS at three to four times the rate of men. Distrust or suspicion from doctors when they report symptoms is commonplace.
“Long Covid is new, but in a way it’s not,” says Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, a long Covid researcher and chief of research and development at the Veterans Affairs Saint Louis Health Care System in the US. Chronic post-viral illness is known to have followed outbreaks of many viruses, including polio
and the 2009 influenza pandemic
– all with common symptoms including fatigue and neurological disturbances. Chronic post-viral conditions, research shows
, affect more women than men