The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Long-covid symptoms are less common now than earlier in the pandemic

By Amy Goldstein and Dan Keating

18 Mar 2023 · 15 min read

Editor's Note

In the U.S., those infected with Covid now are less likely to develop long covid than earlier in the pandemic. This Post analysis dives into the research and explains the long term implications.

Americans infected with the coronavirus's omicron variant are less likely to develop symptoms typical of long covid than those who had covid-19 earlier in the pandemic, according to the largest-ever study of who is most vulnerable to being sickened - or debilitated - by the virus's lingering effects.

The analysis of nearly 5 million U.S. patients who had covid, a study based on a collaboration between The Washington Post and research partners, shows that 1 in 16 people with omicron received medical care for symptoms associated with long covid within several months of being infected. Patients exposed to the coronavirus during the first wave of pandemic illness - from early 2020 to late spring 2021 - were most prone to develop long covid, with 1 in 12 suffering persistent symptoms.

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