A majority of long COVID symptoms disappear within 12 months, a study has found.
The symptoms for most people who contract the virus disappear within two to four weeks, but for some they persist much longer.
As yet, there is no universal definition of long COVID but someone for whom symptoms persist beyond a month is generally considered a sufferer.
Scientists in Israel have now analysed the medical records of thousands of patients on an insurance company’s database and found that most recover within a year.
“It seems like for most people, recovery is on the horizon,” Gerald Barry, Professor of Virology at University College Dublin, told Newstalk.
“Of course, there are some people that don’t recover within a year; but also I think it’s important to remember that we’re talking now about an apparent mild infection that causes symptoms in people for potentially up to a year that are affecting their daily life, their ability to work and their ability to just carry on with normal day-to-day issues.”
Thanks to the high uptake of the vaccine, COVID is not as dangerous as it was when it first arrived in Ireland three years ago.
Despite this, Professor Barry says it is still wise for individuals and society to reduce people’s exposure to the disease.
“The more we allow reinfections to occur, the more we increase the risk of numerous complications - including long COVID,” he said.
“I think the more we can do to reduce re-infection and the more we can do to encourage the whole population to get vaccinated, the less risk there is.”
Main image: A patient suffering from Long COVID is examined in the post-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) clinic of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 21, 2022. Image: REUTERS/Amir Cohen