According to the Brookings Institution, a U.S. think tank, some 31 million working-age Americans, or more than one in seven, may have experienced or are experiencing persistent symptoms of COVID-19.
“As more U.S. states have announced a significant easing of pandemic restrictions, people need to be aware that ‘living with the virus’ means something quite different for those struggling with the symptoms of a long COVID-19,” says an article published Tuesday, June 21, on the think tank’s website.
“Long COVID-19 is associated with chronic symptoms such as fatigue, cognitive problems and breathing difficulties that can persist for months after the initial infection with the new coronavirus has ended,” the article states.
Longer-term complications with COVID-19 affect not only people with severe cases but also those with relatively mild symptoms, as well as Americans who are generally healthy, the same source said.
Like all other health outcomes associated with the pandemic, there are “important racial inequalities associated with long-standing COVID-19, as vast inequalities in underlying conditions make the severity of long-standing cases more pronounced for racial and ethnic minorities,” the article states.
In contrast, American Indians, African Americans, and Hispanics all experienced higher rates of new coronavirus infection, hospitalization, and death throughout the pandemic, the article concluded, calling for increased protection of vulnerable communities.