DETROIT – We’re all hoping Coronavirus will get under control, and we can return to more normal lives.
But, researchers are warning us about the impact of the so-called “Long-COVID,” and some groups are getting hit harder.
A new joint study finds it’s more prevalent among women, Hispanics, and those over 75 years old.
Long-COVID is also hitting people with less than a high school education and incomes less than 50 thousand a year.
Plus, 27% of those with pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease, or other health issues.
It’s the latest look into Long-COVID persistent or lingering symptoms of COVID that last for days, weeks, or even months after a negative test.
The study looked at cases in Michigan and found more than a third of Michigan patients hadn’t recovered after a month. A quarter still had symptoms after two months, and more than one in five Michigan cases had lingering symptoms after three months.
Researchers are also finding that Long-COVID hits women, those over 75, and the Hispanic and Latino community harder.
“We’re still learning a lot about Long-COVID and are seeing cases rise many months after they’ve been infected and recovered,” said Dr. Felix Valbuena. “Then they come in saying, ‘Oh, I’m getting a little bit winded coming up and down the stairs, or my sense of taste or smell is a little bit off.”
Dr. Valbuena is the CEO of the Chass Center in southwest Detroit and serves the city’s underserved Latino community.
Valbuena also says Long-COVID has complicated healthcare beyond the symptoms for his patients too. Lingering symptoms can worsen pre-existing conditions in a community where health care is often harder to get, leaving Long COVID untreated and starting the cycle over again.
“We have a long ways to go, and we know that having a chronic disease is going to lead to poorer outcomes if you do become infected with the COVID virus,” Valbuena said.
The symptoms of Long-COVID are still being worked out, but they appear to be just as diverse as the symptoms of a positive case running the gambit from stomach problems to memory loss to loss of smell and taste to a persistent cough or trouble breathing.