“All over the world, the rates of death and hospitalization from Covid keep dropping. But our successful mitigation of the worst outcomes of the 33-month-old pandemic belie a growing crisis,” David Axe writes over at The Daily Beast. “More and more people are surviving Covid and staying out of the hospital, but more and more people are also living with long-term symptoms of Covid. Fatigue. Heart problems. Stomach problems. Lung problems. Confusion. Symptoms that can last for months or even a year or more after the infection clears. As many as 21 percent of Americans who caught the SARS-CoV-2 virus this summer ended up suffering from long Covid starting four weeks after infection, according to a new study from City University of New York. That’s up from 19 percent in figures the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in June. Compare those numbers to the recent rates of death and hospitalization from Covid in the U.S. — three percent and .3 percent, respectively. Long Covid is by far the likeliest serious outcome from any novel-coronavirus infection. And possibly getting likelier. The CUNY study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, focused on American adults, but the results have implications for the whole world. Globally, long-term symptoms are partially replacing CCovid deaths. After all, more Covid survivors means more people at risk of long-term symptoms. And long Covid is cumulative — people get sick and stay sick for a while. ‘Despite an increased level of protection against long Covid from vaccination, it may be that the total number of people with long Covid in the U.S. is increasing,’ epidemiologist Denis Nash, the CUNY study’s lead author, told The Daily Beast. That is, every day more people catch long Covid than recover from long Covid. But understanding long Covid, to say nothing of preventing it, isn’t a priority in the global epidemiological establishment. That needs to change, Nash said. ‘I believe it is long past time to be focusing on long Covid in addition to preventing hospitalizations and deaths.” David Axe, “Dreaded side effect rears its head in the latest Covid variant,” The Daily Beast.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder