WASHINGTON, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Some 31 million working-age Americans -- more than one in seven -- may have experienced, or be experiencing, lingering COVID-19 symptoms, according to the Brookings Institution.
As more U.S. states announced significant loosening of statewide pandemic restrictions like mask mandates and indoor capacity limits, people should be aware of the fact that "living with the virus" means something much different for those struggling with the symptoms of long COVID-19, said an article posted on the website of the institution on Tuesday.
"Long COVID-19 is associated with chronic symptoms like fatigue, cognitive problems, and respiratory challenges that can linger for months after the initial coronavirus infection has passed," it said.
Experiencing longer-term challenges with COVID-19 affects not only those with severe cases, but those with relatively mild symptoms as well as Americans who are generally healthy, the article added.
Similar to all other health outcomes associated with the pandemic, there are "significant racial inequalities associated with long COVID-19 as vast inequalities in underlying conditions make the severity of longer-term cases more pronounced for racial and ethnic minorities," said the article.
It is clear that Native Americans, African Americans, and Latinos have all experienced higher rates of coronavirus infection, hospitalization and casualties throughout the pandemic, it added, calling for enhancing the protection of vulnerable communities based on current knowledge and predictions of the extension of disparate health conditions to help address these challenges. ■