‘Long covid’ has been both unnecessarily exaggerated and unfairly downplayed or denied. Our updated long covid overview discusses the difference between ‘post-acute covid’ and ‘long covid’; new data on frequency, symptoms, causes and potential treatments; a French study that falsely suggested long covid is just ‘psychosomatic’; and a recent Israeli study that falsely suggested vaccination prevented ‘long covid’.
Overall, long covid is a clinical reality whose total public health impact is still difficult to predict. It is important to understand that long covid can affect even young people at low risk of severe acute covid as well as vaccinated people. However, the risk of long covid doesn’t justify additional political interventions, mainly because these interventions aren’t effective in preventing covid and long covid. It appears likely that the omicron variant will pose a lower long covid risk due to its lower pulmonary and olfactory impact.