Skip to main content

Alberta Health Services estimates 68,200 have or will develop long-COVID

More than 68,200 Albertans have or are expected to develop symptoms health officials deem long-COVID, Alberta Health Services estimates.

In a statement to CTV News Edmonton, AHS says the figure is generated from an estimated prevalence rate of 20 per cent in the province, not from independent analysis.

The provincial health authority says that figure is consistently used internationally to project the number of people who test positive for COVID-19 and will likely develop long-term symptoms.

"Long-COVID is not a standardized clinical diagnosis at this time," said Kristi Bland, AHS spokesperson. "It represents a wide variety of symptoms that can range from mild to serious, depending on the patient.

"AHS is currently developing a process to track patients who present with post-COVID symptoms and is also collaborating with Alberta Health to survey Albertans who had COVID-19 to help us understand the type and duration of symptoms that people are experiencing," Bland added.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), fatigue, memory problems, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, general pain and discomfort, and difficulty thinking or concentrating are some of the symptoms of long COVID in adults.

The PHAC says there have been reports of more than 100 symptoms or difficulties with day-to-day activities associated with long-COVID. The federal agency says 60 per cent reported one or more symptoms in the long term, more than 12 weeks after an initial COVID-19 positive confirmation.

The most commonly reported symptoms of long-COVID in children, the PHAC says, include fatigue, muscle pain, sleep disturbances, weight loss, headaches, and difficulty thinking or concentrating.

The World Health Organization says COVID-19 infection can also increase the risk of previously diagnosed or undiagnosed long-term health problems, like lung function, depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular inflammation.

Preliminary results from the U.K. Office for National Statistics estimates approximately one in 10 people who test positive for COVID-19 may experience one or more symptoms of long COVID for 12 weeks or longer.

As of Dec. 16, there were 340,916 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

Case counts provided by the province can no longer be relied upon to present an accurate picture of COVID infections as only select groups are eligible for PCR testing, and most Albertans are being asked to self-test at home, with no structure for reporting those results. Top Stories


WATCH LIVE NDP agriculture critic says he's not impressed by grocers' plans to stabilize prices

New Democrat MP Alistair MacGregor says he has reviewed the major grocers' plans to stabilize prices, and he's unimpressed by what is in them. MacGregor spoke to reporters Monday afternoon ahead of a committee appearance by Michael Medline, the president and CEO of Empire Company Ltd., which owns Sobeys and other grocery store chains.

Stay Connected