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What is Long Covid and how is it being managed in NZ? 

In brief 
  • Long Covid doesn’t have a very firm definition. 
  • It generally comprises a range of persistent symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue and brain fog. 
  • NZ seems to have done little research into Long Covid. 
  • With all the dissenting opinions worldwide, how can we be sure some of the problem isn’t Long Vaccine? 

What is Long Covid?

Long Covid is a post-viral illness. While definitions can differ, the World Health Organisation defines Long Covid as the continuation or development of new symptoms three months after the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection, with these symptoms lasting for at least two months with no other explanation.

It is said to be similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 

Core symptoms can range from mild to severe and include: breathlessness, fatigue, wheezing, post-exertion malaise, brain fog, fever, and cough. Other possible symptoms include: headache, sleep problems, dizziness, insomnia, skin rashes, new allergies and about 200 other symptoms, which can come and go. 

It’s unknown how many Kiwis may be affected by Long Covid, but it’s estimated that ten to 20 percent of people infected with Covid may develop Long Covid afterwards. That’s over 250,000 New Zealanders.

The Delta variant appears to be the most common strain of Covid linked to Long Covid. However, researchers at Auckland University suspect it’s likely that Omicron and its sub-variants will cause the greatest burden of Long Covid cases in New Zealand. Although Omicron was less severe, there were more cases.

Long Covid has also been linked to damage in patients’ hearts, lungs, brains, nervous and immune systems.

Long Covid research in NZ (Not)

New Zealand has not invested nearly anything into Long Covid research. Doctors are not trained to recognise or diagnose Long Covid. Meanwhile, Australia has poured $50m Aus into researching the condition. 

Te Whatu Ora also justified their lack of national response saying that “ most of Long Covid cases have come from the Delta variant”, which is outdated and not relevant to the New Zealand context. It dismisses the fact that hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders are still suffering with Long Covid symptoms. Does it matter if it was potentially from Delta or Omicron?

What is Long Covid and how is it being managed in NZ?  - Centrist
Will we find out in the future that Long Covid could be, in fact, related to vaccine usage? So far, that’s not the case, but that may change.

The Ministry of Health has funded an online Long Covid registry. The registry (titled Mātauranga Raranga) asks Kiwis to self-report symptoms and relay their experiences with Long Covid. The data will be used to assess the condition’s effects on New Zealanders. 

Long Covid or Long vaccine? 

A raft of official data suggests the double vaccinated were less likely to develop Long Covid symptoms. 

However, a US Military flight surgeon, Lt. Col. Theresa Long, has blown the whistle, alleging the vaccine risks of severe side effects have been suppressed. 

Other studies, like the recent one by Cleveland Clinic, arguably shows more Covid vaccine doses increase the risk of infection.

British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra claims that mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna were a “likely contributory factor” in unexpected cardiac arrests, heart attacks, strokes, arrhythmias and heart failures in recent years. 

NZ also experienced the highest rate of excess deaths in over 100 years in 2022. While only a fraction have been linked to Covid vaccines, there are credible people that are  suspicious as to the side effects of Covid vaccines on the body.  

Although the pandemic scourge is mostly behind us, it’s still too early to say we have got to the bottom of everything Covid. 

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