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What the CDC’s new study tells us about long COVID

0 2 years ago

What is long COVID?

“Long COVID” refers to the long-term health effects of a coronavirus infection, including lingering fatigue, respiratory and heart symptoms like difficulty breathing and chest pain, neurological symptoms like headache and brain fog, and digestive and other symptoms like stomach, joint, or muscle pain, per the CDC. These “post-COVID conditions,” as the agency refers to them, are most often found in those who had a serious bout of COVID — but anyone recovering from infection is susceptible.

Symptoms are typically first identified about four weeks after the initial infection, and can then last weeks or even months before maybe going away or perhaps coming back again. Additionally, long COVID might not affect everyone the same way, often making it difficult for those suffering, as well as their health care providers, to make a diagnosis. Unfortunately, the vaccine might not make much of a difference on this front — a large U.S. study published Wednesday suggests coronavirus inoculation has only a “slight protective effect” against long COVID, The Washington Post writes. Though it seems to reduce the risk of lung and blood clot disorders, the vaccine doesn’t protect much against the condition’s other symptoms, the study found.

All in all, it’s important to note there’s also still much unknown about long COVID, so findings and understandings regarding the condition might change.

Is long COVID a big deal?

Absolutely.

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