This Week in Virology (podcast) has been great on the topics of long COVID, chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and post-viral syndromes. There’s an excellent, long discussion in episode 680, and here’s a good snippet from TWiV 720:
Thanks to the phenomenon of long COVID, chronic fatigue syndrome patients have all awakened and said, “Hey! I’ve been trying to tell you this for years! I got a virus and then I got ‘long something’!” This is bringing awareness to ME/CFS, which is good, because a lot of people are getting infected, and a lot of people are getting long COVID, so maybe [the awareness] will help both communities.
Maybe! The COVID spotlight is indeed extremely large and bright. I am actually quite hopeful that studying the phenomenon of long COVID will solve some other chronic illness puzzles. Indeed, I suspect that post-viral syndromes are more common and serious than we realize. While my own health puzzle remains unsolved, a post-viral syndrome has actually been the leading hypothesis for some time now — like many others, all my troubles started after an infection, a nasty flu in 2015, and then after that I clearly got “long something.”