"Long COVID" patients in U.S. wait months for diagnosis, treatment: The Guardian

(Xinhua) 10:02, August 27, 2021

LONDON, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Some patients in the United States with a range of debilitating symptoms of COVID-19 but no positive diagnosis have had to wait for months before receiving proper treatments, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, or long COVID, affects about 10 percent to 30 percent of people infected with the virus, said the report, noting that the medical condition can last more than a year and can come with more than 200 possible symptoms, including extreme fatigue, brain fog and shortness of breath, and affect 10 organ systems.

For these "long COVID" patients, it is probably too late to pick up the initial infection, as antibodies to the coronavirus, which can disappear within a matter of months, may be gone by then, it said.

Without a positive test, patients can face medical providers who disregard the possible connection between the symptoms and the virus, said the report, which included distressing recounts from patients who were told the symptoms were "all in your head."

Consequently, these patients found themselves were living in a "medical limbo," facing barriers to accessing treatment at long COVID clinics and challenges when it comes to insurance authorizations and disability benefits.

Some of these patients spent tens of thousands of dollars on medical expenses because the delayed COVID-19 diagnosis forced them to look for specialists not covered by insurance, the report said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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