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Long COVID Causes Prolonged Work Leave

Posted by S. Kit on
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The COVID-19 Pandemic has not only affected individuals through the acute illness but also through a condition known as long COVID. Long Covid is characterized by a range of physical and neurological symptoms that can persist for months, or even years, after the initial infection.

New research shows that many employees are reporting being too sick to return to work or requiring ongoing medical treatment.

According to a report from the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), nearly a third of workers' compensation claimants in the state have long COVID, with more men than women suffering from the condition.


Read more: How COVID Changed The Workplace


The report also shows that of New York residents who have filled out workers' comp due to long COVID, approximately 70% said they experienced symptoms that kept them out of work for at least six months or needed continued medical care.

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People with long COVID often suffer from a range of symptoms, including muscle pain, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be physically and mentally debilitating and can have a significant impact on an individual's ability to work.

Bartender Tabitha Turchio, who has struggled with long COVID for almost two years, stated that "a good day" for her is one when she's able to "get out of bed and even walk", according to a CBS report.

Medical professionals are still trying to understand what makes an individual susceptible to developing prolonged COVID symptoms and to develop effective treatments. CBS News Medical contributor Celine Gounder stated that "theres a lot more that we don't know about long COVID than we do know about long COVID."


Read more: Long COVID-19 Symptoms


The NYSIF report illustrates the impact that COVID-19 has had on the workforce. It shows that more than a year after contracting the coronavirus, 18% of long COVID patients had still not returned to work.

Furthermore, the study highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the labor market, including declining labor participation and a lingering surge in job vacancies.

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An estimated 16 million working-age Americans suffer from long COVID, according to Census Bureau data. A report from the nonprofit Brookings Institution estimates that between 2 million and 4 million of those adults are unable to work because of the condition.

Although long COVID claims have decreased sharply from 44% of all COVID-related claims in March 2020 to 8% in March 2022, it is still a significant concern for workers and employers.

The lingering effects of COVID-19 on the workforce must be acknowledged and addressed to ensure that individuals with long COVID receive the support they need to return to work and to improve their quality of life.

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