About one in four coronavirus patients developed long COVID, according to a new study.
While most people who test positive for COVID-19 are over their symptoms within a week or two, more research is showing that some people continue to report symptoms — and even develop new ones — three months after their initial positive test, lasting for months or even years.
A new study released by Help Advisor analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey to find the rates of American adults developing long COVID.
The research showed that 24.4% of American adults who received a positive COVID-19 test have experienced symptoms that persisted for three months or longer.
Twenty-seven states reported rates higher than the national average. In Oklahoma, 34.1% of those who had COVID-19 reported having long COVID symptoms, the largest percentage for any state.
Those in Vermont and Washington, D.C., reported the lowest rates with just 16.5% developing long COVID.
New York state was just below the national average with 21.6%, and New York City fell even lower with 20.6% reporting long-lasting symptoms.
Of those with long COVID, 31% of Americans said that the symptoms have reduced their ability to carry out daily activities.
However, 28 states reported higher rates of struggling to keep up with daily activities. In Hawaii, 50.8% of adults with long COVID reported that it impacted their daily lives.
While some may experience long COVID as a lingering cough or consistent fatigue, others have reported symptoms so severe that they’ve been hospitalized for long periods.
One woman has even requested assisted suicide as she claims her grueling bout with long COVID has robbed her of her life savings, the ability to get out of bed and the simple joys of living.
Previous research has found that long COVID was more common and severe in patients who were infected before the 2021 Omicron variant, unvaccinated or reinfected, and listed the defining symptoms as:
- post-exertional malaise (debilitating fatigue that gets worse after physical or mental activity)
- brain fog
- gastrointestinal symptoms
- heart palpitations
- issues with sexual desire or capacity
- loss of smell or taste
- chronic cough
- chest pain
- abnormal movements
However, experts continue to call for more research to be done to better understand the impacts of the virus.
“Americans living with long COVID want to understand what is happening with their bodies,” said Dr. Rachel L. Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health.