Long COVID And Disease Severity

Why people who have less severe initial infections are less likely to experience long-term symptoms of COVID-19

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


This is what came up when I searched for “Long COVID” on Unsplash. Photo by kevin turcios on Unsplash

Long COVID remains one of the biggest topics on people’s minds when it comes to the pandemic. While the immediate impact of COVID-19 has reduced for most individuals — you’re much less likely to die of the disease now than when it first emerged in 2020 — there is still a lot of worry about catching the coronavirus and going on to develop long-term symptoms.

Whenever you discuss Long COVID, there’s a common claim that pops up — that everyone is at risk from the condition. The argument is usually framed as a health warning, telling people that every infection they have increases their risk of developing Long COVID, and so they should avoid infection if at all possible. This is also often accompanied by the claim that most cases of Long COVID had mild initial infections, implying that mild initial infections more commonly cause Long COVID than more severe ones.

This is all quite scary, because it implies that even if the short-term risks from COVID-19 are down, the long-term risks are still…