Ontario needs to develop strategy to manage long COVID, science table says

·1 min read

TORONTO — Ontario's recently disbanded science table says the province needs a "proactive and comprehensive strategy" to manage long COVID, including substantial investments in research.

The group of scientific advisers was dissolved this week, but had said it would wrap up its ongoing work, and it published a brief today on understanding the post-COVID-19 condition.

The brief says the condition is defined as symptoms persisting for at least four or 12 weeks after a COVID-19 infection and estimates vary widely of how many people will develop it.

The group says that while there is significant uncertainty around the definition, prevalence, causes, risk factors and prognosis of the condition, published literature suggests it poses considerable health risks and therefore a considerable burden on the health-care system.

It says evidence suggests vaccination is associated with a lower risk of developing long COVID, and due to widespread vaccination the condition may be less frequent.

But the group says a strategy to manage the condition still needs to be developed by health systems and policy makers and should include "substantial investments in research and health system resources" to mitigate the long-term health, social and economic impacts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press