In December 2020, Congress gave the National Institutes of Health $1.2 billion to study Long COVID. But it’s been more than two years, and the RECOVER initiative doesn’t have much to show for that money—besides a growing number of frustrated people in the Long COVID community.
An interesting question from a reader got me thinking about how, exactly, we track the impacts of Long COVID. Doctors, researchers, and long-haulers themselves have learned a lot about the condition over the last three years. We still don’t have clear estimates of exactly how many people in the U.S. are dealing with this chronic disease, but we’ve come much closer to understanding its impacts than we were when patients first began advocating for themselves in 2020.
This week, the National Institutes of Health launched a new website that allows people to anonymously report their at-home test results. While I’m skeptical about how much useful data will actually result from the site, it could be a helpful tool to gauge how willing Americans are to self-report test results.
Over a year after the NIH received $1 billion to study Long COVID, the agency’s flagship study is floundering and frustrating patient advocates. Here are five reasons why Long COVID research is tough in the U.S., taken from my reporting for a recent Grid story.
Adults with substance use disorders have an increased risk of breakthrough cases, according to a new study published this week in the journal World Psychiatry. Though the chances of a COVID-19 case after vaccination were very low in this group, these patients’ odds of a breakthrough case were about twice as high as the odds for adults without substance use disorders, researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found.
Though it’s now been well over a year since the first Long COVID patients were infected, there is still so much we don’t know about the condition. For example, we don’t know a very rudimentary number: how many people in the U.S. are struggling with Long COVID. We also don’t have a clear, detailed picture of Long COVID symptoms, or how these symptoms arise from a coronavirus infection, or how they impact the daily lives of Long COVID patients.