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It’s Official: Long COVID Is a Chronic Disease

HealthCentral: “A new report from the Social Security Administration and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine confirms that COVID can cause long-term illness and, for some, permanent disability. We spoke to one of the report’s leading scientists. HealthCentral first asked the question, “What If COVID Is Chronic?“ in early 2021. As the initial wave of both peer-reviewed and pre-print research on the fallout from the novel coronavirus was arriving in our in-boxes, we shed light on the experiences and testimonies of everyday Americans who got COVID-19. Millions were living with unusual, life-upending, and sometimes painful post-infection symptoms that lingered for many weeks or months—even after a negative test suggested they’d cleared the virus. While doctors kept insisting lab work results were normal, for people with long COVID, their bodies told them something else. Americans of all ages—up to 7% of adults and 2% of our children, tallying close to 25 million people in this country—endured the loss of smell and taste, abnormal heart rhythms, pounding headaches, thyroid disorders, tremors, cognitive and memory issues, chronic exhaustion, exercise intolerance, swollen joints, shortness of breath, strange rashes, intense anxiety, and/or even hair loss. In response, HealthCentral made it our mission to chronicle the emerging science that increasingly showed system-wide cellular damage from COVID to the organs and autonomic nervous system, documented not only among those who were hospitalized, but also in the less urgent but still serious long COVID cases—people who describe their bouts with the virus as moderate, mild, or even asymptomatic…”

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