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KPBS Midday Edition

What we know about long COVID-19 today

Illustration of coronavirus structure.
Courtesy of CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS
Illustration of coronavirus structure.

While many people infected with COVID-19 recover in days or weeks, others, sometimes called “long haulers," experience debilitating symptoms months after being infected.

As the vast number of cases led by the omicron wave continues to subside, health providers continue to grapple with long COVID-19, one of the most mysterious and enduring aspects of the pandemic.

"What's really interesting is that the initial part of the infection doesn't necessarily seem to predict who develops long COVID," said Dr. Lucy Horton, infectious disease expert with UC San Diego Health.

She joined Midday Edition on Thursday to talk about what they are seeing in patients with long COVID at UC San Diego Health's post-COVID-19 clinic.

"We're expecting to see large numbers of long COVID patients as long as the pandemic continues," Horton said. "Right now, I think that the majority of patients with long COVID symptoms are not yet in care, either because they haven't presented for care or they haven't really been identified as having long COVID. So I think that we're really only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of patients coming and seeking care at a clinic like ours."