Title: Millions of Americans Continue to Battle Long COVID, New Data Shows
Subtitle: CDC reports alarming numbers on long-term effects of COVID-19 in the United States
Byline: Heartland Magazine Staff Writer
Date: [Insert Date]
According to two new reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, millions of Americans are still suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19. The reports, analyzing data from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey, shed light on the prevalence and impact of long COVID in the United States.
In 2022, approximately 18 million American adults, accounting for 6.9% of the population, reported ever having long COVID. Of these individuals, 8.8 million, or 3.4%, currently experience the debilitating condition. The data reveals a significant and ongoing health concern that requires attention and support.
Long COVID refers to persistent symptoms that continue for a month or longer after clearing the initial infection. These symptoms can endure for months or even years, significantly impacting the daily lives of those affected. Fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, and continued loss of taste and smell are just some of the commonly reported symptoms.
The data further highlights demographic patterns among those affected by long COVID. Women were more likely than men to have experienced or currently have long COVID. Adults aged 35-49 were the most affected, followed by those aged 50-64, while senior citizens aged 65 and older were the least likely to have the condition.
In terms of ethnicity, Hispanic adults had the highest percentage of ever having long COVID at 8.3%, closely followed by white adults at 7.1%. Among those currently experiencing long COVID, white adults slightly outnumbered Hispanic adults, with 3.7% compared to 3.4%.
Among children, 1.5%, or around 1 million children, reported ever having long COVID, while 0.5%, about 360,000 children, currently face the condition. Girls were more likely than boys to have ever had or currently have long COVID. Hispanic children reported the highest percentage of previous long COVID, while white children had the highest reporting of current long COVID. Children aged 12-17 were the most affected age group.
Recognizing the severity and impact of long COVID, the Biden administration has taken steps to address the issue. The Office of Long COVID Research and Practice has been established to study the condition and provide necessary assistance to those diagnosed with it. The creation of this office signifies the government’s commitment to supporting individuals experiencing long COVID and finding effective solutions.
As the battle against COVID-19 continues, it is crucial to prioritize research, support, and resources for individuals suffering from long COVID. By addressing the long-term effects of the virus, the United States can better understand and mitigate the challenges faced by millions of Americans seeking relief and long-term recovery.