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Long COVID is keeping people out of work for months

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Although COVID-19 infections are down from a year ago, the elusive condition known as long-term COVID is having a pronounced effect on U.S. workers. New research shows that many employees report being too ill to return to work or need ongoing medical care.

Nearly a third of workers’ compensation claimants in the state have long been suffering from COVID, with more men than women who suffer from it. .

Of New York residents who filed for workers’ compensation due to long-lasting COVID, about 70% said they experienced symptoms that kept them out of work for at least six months or needed ongoing medical care.

People with long-term COVID often experience a range of physical and neurological symptoms, including body aches and difficulty concentrating, that can persist for months and even years after the onset of a COVID-19 infection. Symptoms can vary in severity and in some cases are physically and mentally debilitating.

“I feel like I’m 70”

Bartender Tabitha Turchio, who has struggled with the condition for nearly two years, told CBS News that “a good day” for her is one where she’s able to “get out of bed and even walk around.”

“There are times when my muscles and joints ache so much and the weakness I’m developing, it’s hard to walk up and down stairs. I feel like I’m 70. I feel like time has been taken from me, ”he said in an interview last fall.

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Medical professionals are still struggling to understand what makes an individual susceptible to developing sustained COVID symptoms, as well as to develop treatments. CBS News medical contributor Celine Gounder said in October that “there’s a lot more we know about long COVID than we know about long COVID.”

Most people who ended up with Long COVID started with a mild case, new Long COVID study shows: What scientists learned about symptoms affecting millions of people worldwide Long COVID to blame for more than 3,500 deaths so far, CDC reports

New NYSIF analysis sheds light on some of the cascading effects of COVID-19 as restrictions and containment measures are pushed aside. The fund analyzed more than 3,000 COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims during the first two years of the pandemic.

It shows that the lingering effects of the pandemic are profound: More than a year after contracting the coronavirus, 18% of long-term COVID patients had still not returned to work. More broadly, the study illustrates the impact COVID has had on the American workforce, including declining job participation and a persistent increase in job vacancies.

An estimated 16 million working-age Americans are long-suffering with COVID, according to data from the Census Bureau. A report by the nonprofit Brookings Institution estimates that between 2 and 4 million of those adults are unable to work because of the condition.

In a positive sign, the New York report found that long COVID claims dropped sharply from 44% of all COVID-related claims in March 2020 to 8% in March 2022.