Here’s how long-COVID is impacting some groups in Michigan

New study finds it’s more prevalent among women, Hispanics, and those over 75 years old

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.

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.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.