What is chronic fatigue syndrome and is it a long term effect of COVID-19?

Every day, doctors are learning more about COVID-19, and it appears that many patients suffer long-term effects after the initial sickness is gone. One effect looks a lot like chronic fatigue syndrome.

Dr. Ian Lipkin, epidemiology professor at Columbia University, says he’s seen many cases of COVID-19 patients suffering from fatigue. But it’s still unclear whether some COVID-19 patients are suffering from the chronic disease. That’s because the disease isn’t diagnosed until a patient experiences at least six months of persistent, extreme fatigue, and the symptoms can’t be attributed to other underlying medical conditions.

He says that patients with the disease have often reported coming down with symptoms of viral infection before their official diagnosis, including a low-grade fever and swollen lymph nodes.



  • Dr. Ian Lipkin - John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University; Professor of Neurology and Pathology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University