OPINION ARTICLE


It is Time to Recognize the Severity of Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)



Christopher J Lehmann1, *, Rasika Karnik2, Renslow Sherer1
1 Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease and Global Health, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, IL, United States
2 Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, IL, United States


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Lehmann et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease and Global Health, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, IL, United States; E-mail: Christopher.lehmann@uchospitals.edu


Abstract

Introduction:

Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), often referred to as “long COVID” or “COVID long hauler” syndrome, is an increasingly recognized subacute to chronic manifestation of COVID-19. The incidence of PASC has been estimated to be 10-30% of all infections.

Methods:

We reviewed the literature on PASC to determine the frequency of the most severe forms of PASC based on medical complications, degree of disability, and ability to return to work following COVID-19.

Results:

We found that the reported frequency of the most severe forms of PASC ranges from 6-18%, and is higher among hospitalized patients and among older patients. Given the degree of morbidity, mortality, and strain to health systems, increasingly attributed to PASC, we advocate that PASC be recognized as a severe manifestation of COVID-19.

Conclusion:

Recognizing PASC as a severe manifestation of COVID-19 could help mobilize attention and resources to this important diagnosis.

Keywords: COVID-19, Long COVID, Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, PASC, Long hauler, Manifestation.