A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of âLong COVIDʼ
Comment of the Day

August 20 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of âLong COVIDʼ

Thanks to a subscriber for this article from Scientific American which may be of interest. Here is a section:

Consider the numbers we know. At least 34 million Americans (and probably many more) have already contracted COVID. An increasing number of studies find that greater than one fourth of patients have developed some form of long COVID. (In one study from China, three quarters of patients had at least one ongoing symptom six months after hospital discharge, and in another report more than half of infected health care workers had symptoms seven to eight months later.) Initial indications suggest that the likelihood of developing persistent symptoms may not be related to the severity of the initial illness; it is even conceivable that infections that were initially asymptomatic could later cause persistent problems.

Common long-term symptoms include fatigue; respiratory problems; “brain fog”; cardiac, renal and gastrointestinal issues; and loss of smell and taste. Surprising manifestations continue to emerge, such as the recent realization that infection may precipitate diabetes.

For some, symptoms have now continued for many months with no apparent end in sight, with many survivors fearing that they will simply have to adjust to a “new normal.” More and more sufferers have not been able to return to work, even months after their initial illness. While the number of patients with persistent illness remains undetermined this early in the pandemic, estimates suggest that millions of Americans may enter the ranks of the permanently disabled

Eoin Treacy's view

The big question for policy makers everywhere is what do these figures mean for the projected size of the future workforce and dependency ratios. No one has a good handle on is how long lingering symptoms last. That data will take years to compile and not least because there is no set barometer against which to measure individual experience.

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