Long COVID Patients Need Equal Access to Care and Sick Leave, Advocates Urge

by Shannon Firth: For Complete Post, Click Here…

“Just because there’s no accepted clinical criteria … doesn’t mean there isn’t a legit disease”.

Advocates, physicians, and lawmakers underscored the urgent need for paid sick leave and access to care for long COVID patients, as well as the importance of believing patients, during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing.

Data gathered by the Census Bureau in early June estimated that nearly one in five American adults who had COVID-19 experienced symptoms of long COVID, noted James Clyburn (D-S.C.), chair of the subcommittee.

According to CDC data, approximately 7.5% of Americans had long COVID for at least 3 months. Women are more likely than men to experience long COVID, as are Black and Hispanic adults compared with white adults.

“It is crucial that we improve our understanding of [the impact of] long COVID on these communities, so that all Americans receive equitable care, fair access to resources, and the best health outcomes possible,” Clyburn said.

Patients Need Rest, Reassurance

At two long COVID recovery clinics in San Antonio, which have seen increasing numbers of patients since August 2020, Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, chair of the department of rehabilitation medicine at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio in Texas, said she has treated marathon runners who can no longer run, healthcare providers who can’t return to work, and people who can’t stand for 2 minutes without their heart rate “going up the roof.”

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