CDC Expected to Release Guidance on Identifying, Managing Long COVID

The guidance is likely to be welcomed by many COVID long-haulers and will be out ‘as soon as possible.’

Guidance on how health care providers can identify long COVID is forthcoming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a CDC official says.

Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer for the CDC’s COVID-19 response, referenced the forthcoming guidance at a congressional hearing in late April. Long COVID, as recognized by the CDC and National Institutes of Health, encompasses a range of illness symptoms that can persist weeks to months following an initial infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, or that can appear weeks afterward. Symptoms can include brain fog, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, dizziness and shortness of breath, among others.

Experts at the CDC are working to develop guidance on how to identify long COVID, in which symptoms can persist weeks to months following an initial infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

The guidance is likely to be a welcome sign for many long COVID patients, who are suffering from a condition experts are still trying to fully understand. It’s coming “as soon as possible,” Brooks tells U.S. News. He says it has been written and is being finalized by the CDC – a process that includes review by content matter experts who will ensure the science is accurate.

Brooks says the guidance is being developed by a number of experts at the CDC and within the health care industry, with collaboration from the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others. Additionally, organizations including long COVID patients and advocates – such as Survivors CorpsBody Politic and the Long COVID Alliance – have had input, Brooks says.

“This kind of material, it’s critical to have the people affected by it engaged from the start, and I think both NIH and CDC have made an effort to do that,” Brooks tells U.S. News.