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In many ways, the United States has moved on from the pandemic. High percentages of Americans have attained some level of immunity either from vaccinations or previous infection. Hospitalization and death rates are down. And preventive measures like masking and social distancing have been left behind.
But for millions of Americans, the consequences of the virus linger in the form of long Covid. And many experts warn millions more could end up suffering chronic symptoms if we do not consider long Covid when setting public health policy.
For the first several months of the pandemic experts did not even acknowledge the existence of the condition. Doctors dismissed patients who sought help for lingering symptoms, or symptoms that sometimes came and went.
Today, clinics have sprung up around the country to support those who continue to suffer the effects of Covid months – or even years after initial infection. And though research is beginning to shed light on the disease, we are still struggling to define it, prevent it and cure it.
Katherine Wu is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She has been tracking our evolving understanding of long Covid, and joined Diane to share what we know about what some are calling “the pandemic after the pandemic.”
- Katherine Wu Staff writer, The Atlantic
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