PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nearly 250,000 Oregonians have developed what’s known as long COVID — that is, people who had COVID but are still suffering the after-effects.
Long COVID is happening not just to those who had a severe case of the coronavirus. In Oregon, doctors are seeing it mostly in people who initially had a mild case. The long COVID symptoms include severe fatigue, brain fog, headaches, trouble sleeping, symptoms that developed a month or more after getting COVID-19.
Long COVID is especially found in women between the ages of 35 and 69.
Vaccines help in preventing hospitalizations and death — about 75% of Oregonians have had a first shot of the COVID vaccine, but only 39% have had at least one booster shot — but so far they are not showing a big impact on long COVID.
A nationwide study conducted in part by an Oregon State researcher found 25% had an increased risk in developing a psychiatric disorder in the months after their infection.
“They’re developing severe mental health symptoms that are actually impeding their recovery and making their lives a lot more difficult than they used to be,” said OHSU Dr. Jordan Anderson.
Lauren Chan, a Ph.D. student in nutrition in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the co-author of this study, said these findings support previous research on psychiatric disorders among post-COVID patients. However, this study found a smaller effect than earlier studies.
With COVID still spreading rapidly, people need to take steps to prevent getting it, includng avoiding crowded gatherings.
The current study is published in World Psychiatry.