The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided on a formal definition of Long COVID, defining it as a “post-COVID condition.”

The WHO said: “Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction but also others… which generally have an impact on everyday functioning. Symptoms may be new-onset, following initial recovery from an acute Covid-19 episode, or persist from the initial illness. Symptoms may also fluctuate or relapse over time.”

Studies have found that up to one-third of Americans have symptoms that lingered for at least six months but most research is still prospective and little is known about the long-term impact COVID-19 might have, mainly due to it being such a new virus.

The so-called “brain fog” is a particular mystery to experts as it remains unclear how a respiratory illness could cause neurological issues. There is currently no treatment for Long COVID but different vaccines for the virus have been shown to ease symptoms in some cases.

What happens now? Research into Long COVID is in such early stages. Many struggling with symptoms feel like they’ve been “left behind” or “abandoned” because of the global focus on the preventative vaccine. As COVID-19 cases come under control (and this is still not a certainty), more focus will be on the long-term impact of the virus.