The condition many are calling ‘long Covid’ may look a lot like another chronic health condition, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS for short, is a composite term for a constellation of fatigue, pain, cognition issues and other symptoms of unknown cause. Peter Rowe, a ME/CFS expert at Johns Hopkins, says this also describes many cases of so-called ‘long Covid.’

Rowe: People can have really very mild respiratory illnesses with Covid that are debilitating from the beginning because they have such tremendous lightheadedness, cognitive fogginess and difficulty with concentration. And they are, after six months, meeting the criteria for what we now call ME/CFS. The new term for chronic fatigue syndrome and it looks like Covid-19 is yet another of the infectious triggers of this prolonged fatiguing debilitating illness.  :31

Rowe says this syndrome must be distinguished from post-ICU syndromes in those who’ve had severe Covid-19, because their management is very different. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.