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Report

Long COVID - The latest research and the implications for compensators

The phrase “Long COVID” has very firmly entered the lexicon of the general population in recent months.

The phrase “Long COVID” has very firmly entered the lexicon of the general population in recent months.

This report seeks to explain what “Long COVID” means in terms of definition, its prevalence, the impact on patients, whether we can predict who will develop Long COVID and finally, we will look at the implications for compensators.

We specifically look at:

  1. Long COVID – The latest research and the implications for compensators
  2. Long COVID defined
  3. The prevalence of Long COVID?
  4. What symptoms or conditions are linked to COVID-19?
  5. The impact on hospitalised patients?
  6. Can we predict who will develop Long COVID?
  7. Treating Long COVID patients
  8. The implications for compensators? 

Long COVID defined

Long COVID is arguably currently used as a rather lazy umbrella term to refer to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has ongoing symptoms of any description.

Two main definitions are presently utilised;

  1. either this is “an individual with symptoms more than four weeks after a positive COVID test”
  2. or the one preferred by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, (NICE) as “those with ongoing symptoms more than 12 weeks after a positive COVID test”.

The National Institute for Health Research looked at this in more detail in their paper “Second Review”, which was published on 16 March 2021. They adopted a more forensic approach to those with ongoing symptoms. 

The Institute divided patients into four broad categories as follows;

  1. Patients with post-intensive care syndrome (‘PICS’).
  2. Patients with long term organ damage.
  3. Post viral syndrome patients.
  4. Those with “Long COVID”.

The fourth category of patients is the most intriguing with the Institute commenting that there is “recent and growing evidence that (Long COVID) is an active disease with “a continued inflammatory response which causes lingering viral activity or blood clotting disorders”.

Whilst clinical evidence is emerging, it is likely that “True Long COVID” will in future be property defined as patients having “active disease”.

To read the rest of the report please fill in the form below to download a copy. 

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