Long COVID: 1.4 million Canadians suffer from it

OTTAWA | The Corona pandemic is not done wreaking havoc in the country: more than 1.4 million people in Canada suffered from prolonged COVID-19 in August 2022, or 14.8 percent of adults who contracted the virus. And that number is only increasing as the virus continues to spread.

People affected by post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) suffer “irreversible consequences for their health,” they are “prisoners of their bodies,” said Canada’s chief scientific adviser, Mona Nemer, who presented a report on this Wednesday. poorly understood disease.

The document points out that prolonged COVID manifests differently from person to person. Chronic fatigue, mental fog, decreased respiratory and cardiovascular functions, neurological and cognitive conditions, etc., the range of conditions is wide.

Women are twice as likely to be affected, and the more you catch the virus, the more you risk developing chronic symptoms, explained Mrs. Nemer, who reminded that the best defense remains vaccination.

The large number of people affected has significant socio-economic consequences both for the people affected and for society.

“The majority of people [à qui nous avons parlé] have lost their jobs” or are stigmatized at work, Ms. Nemer said of the sad stories of sufferers her team encountered.

Deaths : died

Canada is not alone in suffering long from the ravages of COVID. “Globally, data from different countries consistently show that 10 to 20 percent of those infected have PCS,” the report said.

In the United States, more than 3,500 people have even died from this syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But in Canada, no such compilation exists, Ms. Nemer said.

Lack of data

She explained that scientists still have a very poor understanding of the causes of prolonged COVID and called for more research and collaboration to better prevent and cure it, as there is currently no treatment.

Achieving this includes “improving the collection and rapid exchange of data,” the report says.

Enough to bring grist to the mill of the Trudeau government, which wants provinces and territories to collaborate on a national health data sharing system in exchange for an increase in health transfers.

Do you have any information to share with us about this story?

Do you have a scoop that might be of interest to our readers?

Write to us at or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.

Leave a Comment