Coronavirus (1363) Long COVID

7 September, 2021

Dear HIFA members, the MEDBOX team has prepared a new issue brief on COVID-19. This time on the long-term effects of coronavirus infection, Long COVID (also known as long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, longterm effects of COVID, or chronic COVID.

Long COVID is a complicated mix of various symptoms. Common symptoms include:

-extreme tiredness (fatigue)

-shortness of breath

-chest pain or tightness

-problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")

-difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

-heart palpitations


-pins and needles

-joint pain

-depression and anxiety

-tinnitus, earaches

-feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite

-a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste


After a COVID-19 infection, we might contribute any sign or symptom to the infection and call it Long COVID. However, we know from studies that compared the wellbeing of people who had and did not have a COVID-19 disease period that some of the symptoms were also found in a high percentage of the people who were not infected. Some of the symptoms can result from a lockdown or other control measures to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Another complicating factor is that many infections will go unnoticed or are not laboratory-confirmed. A recent study in South Africa concluded that approximately 95% of the infections were not laboratory-confirmed. The chances of developing Long-COVID does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you get COVID-19. People presenting one or more of the Long COVID symptoms that cannot be explained otherwise should be checked for a coronavirus infection.

The discussions about Long COVID, the causes and the therapy are still ongoing. There are still many unclear aspects. You can find this issue brief in MEDBOX-The Aid Library:

You can find further documents on the topic of mental health aspects in our MENTAL HEALTH TOOLBOX

Best regards,

Sieglinde Mauder

MEDBOX- The Aid Library

Project Lead

HIFA profile: Sieglinde Mauder is Librarian at the Medical Mission Institute, Würzburg, Germany. She collects and distributes resources on HIV/AIDS, tropical diseases, humanitarian aid, health service management, e-learning for partners in developing countries. sieglinde.mauder AT