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Long COVID cases continue to rise in the USA

Recent data from the US Census Bureau and CDC reveal a spike in long COVID cases into early 2024 compared to October 2023. Long COVID’s ambiguous symptoms, often exacerbated by prior health issues, are challenging to manage with no cure available. Despite vaccines reducing risks, low booster uptake may contribute to the trend, with the latest survey indicating 17.4-17.6% of respondents experiencing long COVID, a significant rise from the previous range of 14-15%. Additionally, a high rate of acute cases in North Carolina correlates with increased long COVID reports.

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Long COVID may decrease IQ by up to nine points

A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine has found that long COVID can impair cognitive function, equating to a loss of up to six IQ points in those with symptoms lasting over 12 weeks. The research highlights the uncertainty over the long-term implications of such deficits, which could be particularly serious for patients who were in the ICU with COVID-19 and suffered a larger cognitive decline. The study did not establish individual cognitive declines pre-COVID, which the accompanying editorial suggests is a significant limitation that requires further investigation.

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COVID vaccines may prevent long COVID conditions

Recent research compared COVID-19 vaccine recipients with unvaccinated individuals who had breakthrough infections, showing significantly lower risks of long-term health issues in the vaccinated group. Long-COVID symptoms, including hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, were reduced by 65-79% in the vaccinated group after 90 days, indicating the vaccine’s long-term benefits.

long vax

Long vax — rare neurologic syndrome after COVID vaccines

A newly published paper highlights that individuals experiencing rare but prolonged adverse effects from the COVID-19 vaccine often exhibit neurological symptoms, a phenomenon termed “long vax”. Despite anti-vaccine activism seizing this study as leverage, the study reaffirms the vaccine’s safety as “long vax” occurrence is significantly lower compared to long COVID-19.