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Nearly 1 in 5 adults who had COVID have lingering symptoms: US study

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A test tube labelled COVID-19 Test positive is seen in this illustration picture taken, March 10, 2021.—Reuters
A test tube labelled “COVID-19 Test positive” is seen in this illustration picture taken, March 10, 2021.—Reuters 
  • Data collected by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • CDC analysis finds younger adults more likely to have persistent symptoms.
  • Women also more likely to have long COVID than men.

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults who reported having COVID-19 in the past are still having symptoms of long COVID, according to survey data collected in the first two weeks of June, US health officials said on Wednesday.

Overall, 1 in 13 adults in the United States have long COVID symptoms lasting for three months or more after first contracting the disease, and which they did not have before the infection, the data showed.

The data was collected from June 1-13 by the US Census Bureau and analyzed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Long COVID symptoms range from fatigue, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, cognitive difficulties, chronic pain, sensory abnormalities, and muscle weakness. They can be debilitating and last for weeks or months after recovery from the initial infection.

The CDC analysis also found that younger adults were more likely to have persistent symptoms than older adults.

Women were also more likely to have long COVID than men, according to the study, with 9.4% of US adult women reporting long COVID symptoms compared to 5.5% of men.

The survey found nearly 9% of Hispanic adults have long COVID, higher than non-Hispanic white and Black adults, and more than twice the percentage of non-Hispanic Asian adults.

There were also differences based on US states, with Kentucky and Alabama reporting the highest percentage of adults with long COVID symptoms, while Hawaii, Maryland and Virginia reported the lowest, according to the survey.

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