If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, there is a one in three chance you’ll experience symptoms for months.
According to the CDC, “long COVID” refers to long term symptoms following the infection. This condition is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A third of the 366 participants in a study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported symptoms of “long COVID” two months after their positive test result. Higher rates were reported among people over 40, female participants, Black participants and people with preexisting conditions.
Researchers from the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services and University of California, Davis contributed to the study, which was published as part of the CDC’s weekly COVID-19 report.
Of the 366 participants, 39 percent were aged 18 to 39, 57 percent were female and 66 percent were Hispanic or Latino. Overall, 115 participants, or approximately 31.4 percent, reported symptoms such as fatigue, loss of smell and labored breathing two months after their COVID-19 diagnosis.
“The findings in this report are subject to at least seven limitations,” said the report. Factors that may have impacted results include the small sample size, preexisting conditions and likelihood to respond.
Authors of the study think further research is needed about long COVID.
Even people who did not have COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can develop long COVID symptoms, said the CDC.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection and subsequent long-term impacts, said the centers. Masking in public places can also help reduce the likelihood of becoming infected with the virus.