It is estimated that over one million people (of a population of 66 million) in the UK are currently living with Long Covid (prolonged symptoms at 4+ weeks). No such data are available for other countries, but numbers are likely to be proportionate. Long Covid is thought to affect 10% of those diagnosed with Covid-19 and consists of a wide range of symptoms affecting many systems including cardiac, respiratory, neurocognitive, and immune function.The illness commonly has an unpredictable, relapsing-remitting pattern with significant associated conditions often appearing weeks to months into the disease course.

The document Recommendations for the Recognition, Diagnosis, and Management of Patients with Post COVID-19 Condition ('Long COVID'): A Delphi Study has been produced by clinicians with lived experience of Long Covid and aims to provide a rapid expert guide for Post Covid-19 Condition (“Long Covid”) clinical services.

Patients require a holistic clinical approach that prioritises investigation of potential physical pathology. The lead clinician should be a doctor, “well versed in multisystem disorders”, working across disciplines, and able to refer to specialists. Regarding children, a Consultant Paediatrician should lead the service. Psychological aspects of disease should be managed as part of the recovery process, but not seen as the primary treatment focus.

Dr Ashish Chaudhry and Dr Harsha Master offer nine top tips for recognising and managing long COVID-19 symptoms in primary care.

The NICE guideline [NG188] recommends ‘After ruling out acute or life-threatening complications and alternative diagnoses, consider referring people to an integrated multidisciplinary assessment service (if available) any time from 4 weeks after the start of acute COVID‑19.’

The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the use of CoverScan MD, an MRI-based technology that maps the effects of COVID-19 on several of the body’s key organs, developed by Perspectum.

Input from expert physiotherapists and occupational therapists who are familiar with the condition is an important aspect of caring for Long Covid patients. Long Covid Physio is a global peer support and advocacy group for Physiotherapists (Physical Therapists) and support workers living with Long Covid.

This podcast produced by AHP Leader includes links to 6 valuable CPD sessions on Long Covid: