The global Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we once knew it, creating wave upon wave of disruptions and uncertainty. A pandemic-scale, highly contagious virus has not been experienced in our lifetimes. However, the notion that viruses can cause debilitating post-infectious conditions is not new. Long Covid is the term coined by a patient-led movement in May 2020 following the realisation that many people were in fact not recovering from their SARS-CoV-2 infection – a movement that was created when it seemed no one was listening. That was everyone except the millions worldwide who were already living with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) – the most common, yet still poorly understood, post-viral condition. It has taken a pandemic-scale virus for many to finally take a largely neglected area of research and medicine seriously. There is still much we don’t understand about how viruses affect our long-term health – so what has this pandemic taught us that desperately needs attention?


Dr Anna Brooks is a cellular immunologist, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Auckland Cytometry lab. She has a broad background in human immunology, with specific training and expertise in advanced cell characterisation using leading-edge cell analysis technologies (spectral flow cytometry). Anna’s research focuses on characterising immune cell populations in the blood following various immune responses such as viral infections, vaccinations or treatments. Her primary research interest lies in understanding the immune dysfunction associated with Long Covid and the relationship to or comparison with other post-viral illnesses such as ME/CFS.

Find out all the best parking and public transport offers now.

Last updated: 13 July 2022