Poll: 7% of Americans say they have had ‘long COVID’

According to results from a recent Yahoo News and YouGov poll, about 7 percent of American adults responded to questioning saying they have experienced what is known as “long COVID.”

That condition was defined on the questionnaire as “a range of symptoms” associated with coronavirus infection that “last weeks or months” following the end of initial infection.

When applied to the entire United States population, that percentage translates to about 18 million people, highlighting the pervasiveness of the illness over two years into the pandemic, which has infected far more than 100 million Americans.

Research on long COVID is ongoing, and the U.K. government has also been tracking the prevalence of continuing symptoms.

Just last week, the Biden administration announced that it would be increasing its own efforts to combat long COVID, and several studies have tried to categorize how widespread the poorly defined condition really is.

Still, the poll of just 1,619 U.S. adults, which was conducted from March 31 to April 4, is fairly limited in scope, leaning on a small but significant sample to identify population patterns. But according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s own estimate of 24 million U.S. long COVID patients of all ages, the survey is somewhat representative.

Twenty-one percent of Americans told Yahoo News and YouGov that they have at some point tested positive for COVID-19, and another 15 percent say they have never tested positive but have noticed symptoms they “believe were COVID-19.”

The 7 percent who consider themselves long COVID patients represent one-third of confirmed cases and one-fifth of confirmed and suspected cases. 




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