ATLANTA, Ga. — The United States Department of Health and Human Services released a new report highlighting the challenges for millions living with long COVID.
According to the “Health+ Long COVID Report,” 1 in 3 people who get COVID-19 may have long COVID, a form of COVID-19 with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
The report highlights personal stories from dozens of patients and caregivers, outlining an “Ideal Journey” for someone with long COVID, starting from the initial diagnosis to insurance coverage and treatment.
Rear Adm. Michael Iademarco, deputy assistant secretary for science and medicine, told Channel 2′s Kristin Garriss about the importance of the report.
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“The person with long COVID knows best, what the problem is, and how to describe it and explain it, “Iademarco said. “If you don’t understand long COVID, you can’t diagnose it. So first, we have to understand it, then we have to develop diagnostics.”
The report also offers several recommendations, such as increased access to disability benefits and long COVID guidance for schools and workplaces.
Cynthia Adinig, a long COVID patient and advocate, said she believes awareness about long COVID hurdles should have come much earlier.
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In addition to advocating for herself, Adinig’s 7-year-old son also suffers from long COVID.
“I feel like there hasn’t been the level of urgency,” Adinig told Channel 2. “There was a six-month wait. He still has not seen the post-COVID clinic. He still hasn’t even been there, not one time.”
Iademacro said the following primary focus is the prevention of long COVID at a federal level and added that HHS requested $750 million from Congress for long COVID research and treatment.
“We have to understand the gaps and try to close those gaps,” Iademarco said. “With long COVID, we have an emerging health care approach. And we need to strengthen the prevention approach. And we need to develop the public health approach.”
To read the full report, click here.
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