For some people, symptoms do not stop after their initial infection and can continue for months, if not years, afterwards. For others, new and recurring symptoms can occur. Long COVID is the common name given to symptoms that last for at least three months after initial infection.
Because COVID can affect multiple areas of the body, long covid may present itself through neurologic/cognitive symptoms, and/or from affecting the lungs, the heart and smaller blood vessels, and the kidneys, to name a few.
The CDC lists a number of symptoms here.
Long COVID affects approximately 1 in 5 people that get COVID. Read this CDC press release with these numbers.
- 24% of adults in Massachusetts who have ever had COVID have experienced Long COVID. These adults had COVID and had some symptoms that lasted three months or longer.
- Nearly 1 in 4 of adults in Massachusetts who have ever had COVID have experienced Long
- 12.6% of adults in Massachusetts who have ever had COVID are currently experiencing long COVID. These adults had COVID, had long-term symptoms, and are still experiencing symptoms.
- About 1 in 8 of adults in Massachusetts who have ever had COVID are currently experiencing Long COVID.
For some, Long COVID is disabling. Since July 2021, Long COVID has been included as a disability by the US government: https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/civil-rights-covid19/guidance-long-covid-disability/index.html
The best way to prevent Long COVID is to protect yourself and others from becoming infected. Staying up-to-date on COVID vaccines and boosters, wearing a mask, staying away from others and testing when sick. Learn more about how to assess COVID risk on the CDC website.
Although many treatments are currently being developed, there are a number of places that have Long COVID clinics. A list of Massachusetts Long COVID clinics can be found on the Northampton Health Department website.
Living with Long COVID can be hard and many have found support groups as great places to share information and experiences. A comprehensive list of Long COVID support groups can be found on the Northampton Health Department website.