Long-term Sequelae of COVID-19 (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis): An International Cross-Sectional Study

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    Alexandria University
Updated on 7 October 2021
brain inflammation
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The term recovery from COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is unverified because the infection leaves many symptoms due to permanent effects on multiple organs; The primary objective of this research is to understand acute and chronic long COVID symptoms by asking questions detecting patient's experience especially symptoms lasting for several months which is known as chronic fatigue syndrome(Myalgic encephalitis). The study focuses on symptoms describing Myalgic encephalitis which may still affect COVID patients for several months after the infection along with making a big picture about rare symptoms that may the patient experienced during or after the infection.

A secondary objective of this research is to focus on the long-term sequelae effects and comorbidities following COVID-19 vaccination.


After the appearance of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic has spread and had a profound effect on the lives and health of people around the Whole world causing around 3.97 million deaths and more than 183 million confirmed cases of the covid-19. The pandemic of COVID-19 may leave unexplainable symptoms after recovery. COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of serious symptoms, but some last for some time even after the recovery. Even some of the people who had mild symptoms during COVID-19 continue to have long terms effects after initial recovery. These people are called "long haulers" and these symptoms are called Long COVID-19. Long haulers still suffer from permanent symptoms due to multi-organ dysfunction despite normal nucleic acid tests that detect the virus.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci "patients with COVID-19 can develop a post-viral syndrome that's very strikingly similar to Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome" Long COVID-19 involves multiple organs and affects many systems mainly respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal systems. The symptoms of long-covid include shortness of breath, cough, myalgias, disturbances in the sense of taste and smell, fatigue, fever, chills, and, less commonly, rhinitis and gastrointestinal symptoms cardiac abnormalities, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, muscle pain, concentration problems, and headache. Those manifestations persist in one of 10 patients of the infection and last for 3-4 weeks of acute symptoms and chronic symptoms last for more than 12 weeks after the infection. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 150 patients out of 300 who were PCR-positive for SARS-CoV-2 had permanent symptoms after three weeks after the positive test.

In case the fatigue persists for six months, it is called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

Although the period of 6 months is no longer required for ME diagnosis according to 2011's ME international Consensus Criteria, it is still common in literature.

Chronic fatigue syndrome /post-viral myalgia can not only covid-19 but also follow viral infections such as Epstein-Barr virus, Ross River virus, enteroviruses, human herpesvirus, Ebola virus, West Nile virus, Dengue virus, and parvovirus; bacteria, such as Borrelia burgdorferi, Coxiella burnetii, and Mycoplasma pneumonia; and sometimes parasites, such as Giardia lamblia, so it is expected but the problem is that it is unknown how severe it is or how it can affect the public health.

Recently, there has been global concern about the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. According to WHO, the most common side effects that were reported about COVID-19 vaccines were fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, diarrhea, and pain at the injection site which is more or less like some of the post covid infection symptoms so it was found that it is logical to add a section to gather information about the vaccine status, type, and timing with the symptoms.

Also, some cases were reported from Canada reported weird and rare symptoms like Beau lines.

Condition Viral Infections, Viral infection, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Treatment This is an observational cross-sectional study, there is no need for intervention
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05059184
SponsorAlexandria University
Last Modified on7 October 2021


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