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Long COVID stemmed from mild cases of COVID-19 in most people

90% of people living with long COVID initially experienced only mild illness.



Enlarge / Symptoms of long COVID-19 include fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive issues. (credit: Getty Images / ArtistGNDphotography)

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Even mild COVID-19 cases can have major and long-lasting effects on people’s health. That is one of the key findings from our recent multicountry study on long COVID-19–or long COVID–recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Long COVID is defined as the continuation or development of symptoms three months after the initial infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These symptoms last for at least two months after onset with no other explanation.

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