Long Covid Numbers Dropping Thanks to Widespread Vaccines, Weaker Variants, and Increased Public Awareness
Reports of Long Covid diagnoses and symptoms in patients have dropped since the beginning of the pandemic. The percentage of people who have had COVID and currently report long COVID symptoms declined from 19% in June 2022 to 11% in January 2023. That decrease reflects a reduction in the share of people who have COVID and later report long COVID, which declined from 35% to 28% during the same period.
With the roll-out of vaccines, a significant portion of the population has been vaccinated which has reduced the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Currently, 81% of the U.S. population has received at least one vaccine for COVID-19. Vaccines have been shown to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and the risk of Long Covid. Also, increased population immunity through vaccines and prior infections may be reducing these numbers. Some of the reasons for this involve improved treatment, changes in virus variants and more awareness.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, healthcare providers have gained a better understanding of COVID-19 and have developed new treatments that can reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of Long COVID. For example, the use of steroids and antiviral medications has been shown to be effective in treating COVID-19.
There have been several new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, some of which are more transmissible than earlier versions. However, it is possible that some of these variants may be less likely to cause Long COVID than earlier versions of the virus. Studies have shown that those who were infected with the Omicron variant were less likely to develop Long Covid.
As the pandemic has continued, there has been more awareness of Long COVID and its symptoms. This may have led to more people seeking medical care and being diagnosed with the condition, which may result in better outcomes and shorter symptoms periods.
It is important to note, however, that the long-term effects of COVID-19 are still not fully understood, and more research is needed to fully understand the prevalence and risk factors for long COVID.