The Lancet still doesn’t seem to recognise the surge in post-COVID ME/CFS illness

December 11, 2020


One of Britain's leading medical journals has still to acknowledge that one of the long-term medical consequences of Long COVID infection seems to be a surge in post-COVID ME/CFS-type illness.

Dr Charles Shepherd

ME Association medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd takes issue with an editorial on Long COVID in this weekend's The Lancet.

“It is disappointing to find there is no information on the important clinical and pathological overlaps between ME/CFS and Long COVID that we have been highlighting since May.”

Dr Charles Shepherd

The Lancet sounds this warning about Long COVID: “Although vaccination has become the immediate focus of the pandemic response for many countries, patients with long COVID must not be forgotten or side-lined as countries begin to consider the end of the pandemic.

“Acknowledging the potential scale of the problem now and the complexities and variabilities of the disease course, and pressing for better research and care, could avoid years of struggle and mismanagement for patients with long COVID.”

But the 702-word, unsigned editorial contains no mention of what has already started to be identified as post-COVID ME/CFS. Dr Shepherd will be writing to The Lancet asking them to rectify the omission in future.

Since the Spring, the ME Association has had contact with thousands of Long COVID sufferers who tell us they have either been diagnosed with post-COVID ME/CFS, or suspect that their lingering symptoms may have tipped over into ME/CFS.

The majority were never hospitalised with COVID-19 because they were not considered sick enough. Many are young people, who initially seemed to recover quickly after the initial infection but who then relapse with complications they can't shake off.

Read the full text of The Lancet editorial entitled ‘Facing up to long COVID' HERE.

Our Long Covid and ME/CFS leaflets and reports

Since the Spring, the ME Association has been publishing a wide range of leaflets and reports about the links between Long COVID and ME/CFS – which we've made available to visitors to our website shop absolutely free of charge.

We have a regularly updated 24-page booklet covering Post-Covid Fatigue Syndromes and ME/CFS – Diagnosis and Management.

We have also added a new To Whom It May Concern letter covering Vulnerability and Education which can be used to help with obtaining support for children and adolescents attending schools, colleges and universities and a similar leaflet for Vulnerable Adults.

In addition:

The ME Association

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