MS and COVID-19: What’s the Long-Term Impact?

By Kerry Weiss
Reviewed by Dana Cooper, M.D.
April 19, 2023

We understand a lot more today about the effects of the COVID-19 virus than we did when it first appeared. While there’s still more to learn, research is beginning to come out about the long-term impact of COVID on people’s physical and emotional health, particularly in people managing a chronic condition like multiple sclerosis (MS).

If you or a loved one has MS, you may have questions. Does MS increase the risk of COVID-19 infection? What is long COVID and how may it affect people with MS? And how can we recover from all that time spent in social isolation? Here’s what we know so far about how the virus and the pandemic in general have impacted life with MS.

The Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on MS and Its Symptoms

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, simply having MS doesn’t increase your risk of getting COVID, unless you also have other factors (like being older, or taking certain disease-modifying therapies) that would increase the risk.