Author: Leah Lovgren

[UPDATED] The Impact of Long COVID on the Workforce

Recently we posted an article about how Long Covid affects employees and employers. As issues around Long Covid and the workforce continuously emerge, we plan to provide updates to keep the community in the know about the latest data and conversations on this topic. In this post we’ve provide a brief review of recent studies estimating the impact on the labor shortage.

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What is “medium COVID”?

A new term – medium COVID –  has emerged that may add further nuance to Long COVID diagnoses. As the pandemic has progressed, scientists have realized that Long COVID, which was developed in the early stages of the pandemic to broadly encompass the experience of lingering COVID symptoms past the point of what could be considered the acute infection, may be a more complicated diagnosis than originally expected.

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Rare manifestations of Long COVID

Common manifestations of Long Covid include headaches, fatigue, or cognitive dysfunction, otherwise known as “brain fog.” But many clinicians are unaware of some of the more rare signs and symptoms. This post focuses on three particularly challenging issues: parosmia (a distorted sense of smell that often causes food and drink to smell distorted), MISC-C (inflammation of various body parts in children) also known as PIMS-TS, and visual delirium (hallucinations). 

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Long COVID + Children

Although children often have less severe Covid-19 infections and Long Covid appears to be less common in children, Long Covid can affect any person infected with Covid-19, regardless of age. Long Covid research studying the impact in children and adolescents is still limited. We previously posted an article summarizing research about Long Covid among children. This article provides an update of recent literature on the topic.

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Is Long COVID disproportionately impacting women?

Months after the first onset of Lauren Nichols’ Covid-19 symptoms in March of 2020, she still had a laundry list of maladies that seemed to grow by the day: constant migraines, histamine rashes, reproductive issues, fevers, vertigo, and gastrointestinal problems so severe that some days she couldn’t even keep water down. Her neurological issues were so intense that one day, she says she was trapped inside of her shower because she couldn’t remember what the door handle was. Other days, she forgot what her hands were.

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Patient advocacy groups + Long COVID

Advocacy and support groups are important resources for patients, particularly those navigating chronic or rare conditions. Patient support groups bring together people with similar experiences, such as a common medical condition, to bridge their medical and emotional needs through sharing personal experiences, coping strategies, information about the disease and treatment, and resources. Participation in online patient support groups has been shown to lead to patient empowerment, including being better informed through exchanging information and finding recognition. 

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Long COVID + sleep disturbances

Lack of quality sleep, regardless of Long Covid status, takes a toll on the mind and body. Not only can it lead to daytime tiredness, but sleep loss impairs alertness, cognition, and motivation to participate in day-to-day activities. Racking up quality sleep has been a problem for many Long Covid patients. Other Long Covid symptoms – such as depression and anxiety – are associated with sleep disturbances on their own, potentially causing or compounding these sleep troubles.

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