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App from Saskatoon researchers helps people with Long COVID


Researchers with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) have launched an app that aims to improve the lives and find unanswered questions of people living with Long COVID in the province.

Long COVID, or post acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 (PASC), is a multi-organ disease that occurs after a person has recovered from COVID-19. It has a wide range of symptoms that can include fatigue, brain fog, headaches and palpitations.

“It was surprising to see all of this inflammation and organ damage outside of the lungs so I was interested in the connection between that damage and symptoms that people are experiencing,” Alyson Kelvin, an infectious disease researcher with VIDO, told CTV News.

The app “Sask Long COVID” allows people who have Long COVID to report their case and enter their symptoms so that researchers can analyze the data collected and find potential therapies and treatments.

Kelvin says Long COVID can affect people of all ages and can follow mild, moderate or serious cases of COVID-19. It’s unknown how many people in Saskatchewan have Long COVID.

According to the app’s website, one in 50 people experience PASC symptoms after 12 weeks. The condition has no cure but Kelvin says getting vaccinated decreases the risk of Long COVID.

Those who’ve had COVID-19 and have no lingering symptoms and those who’ve never had it are also able to use the app so researchers can compare all types of cases.


Cindy McLean, who lives in Watrous, Sask., tested positive for COVID-19 in January 2021 and three months later she knew something was wrong.

“This isn’t really going away, this is sticking around a lot longer than I think it should and I’m just not getting any better,” McLean told CTV News.

At the time, the only way McLean could get help was through networking with other people across the country who had Long COVID.

“I struggled a lot with confusion, dizziness, the brain fog for sure and concentration problems. I couldn’t read a book or watch TV for more than 10 or 15 minutes,” McLean said.

She also wasn't able to exercise or climb a flight of stairs and said it was “really scary.” McLean says one of the biggest challenges of the condition is her symptoms vary day-to-day, calling it “unpredictable and disruptive.”

“You never really know what’s coming.”

At her worst, she would set alarms to make sure she’d wake up to eat and drink, often sleeping 18 hours at a time.

McLean says the app is a “wonderful tool” that will help people track their symptoms and give them a platform to be able to recognize patterns. She’s already signed up for the app and has filled out the survey.

“I truly believe the more research and stories shared the more evidence, the better chance we have,” she said.

McLean says because Saskatchewan is rural and spread apart, the app will be a great tool for people to access no matter where they live. Top Stories

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