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According to early research findings, people of color are the likeliest to develop long COVID, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute director Dr. Gary Gibbons said on Tuesday.
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“We’re seeing trends toward who’s most affected, and again, it’s identifying people of color – African Americans, Latinos as a high prevalence group developing long COVID,” Gibbons said during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
WATCH: Who is most likely to suffer from long COVID?
Gibbons said there were indications that the severity of a case of COVID also affected the likelihood of the chances of getting long COVID.
He added that there were also signs that vaccination increased the chance of avoiding long COVID.
“It’s already starting to show preliminary evidence that’s suggestive of potentially the ability of vaccination to prevent the development of long COVID,” Gibbons said.
According to the National Institute of Health, long COVID is marked by “wide-ranging symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, headaches, “brain fog” and other neurological problems.”
Symptoms of long COVID can last for months after the first COVID-19 diagnosis.
Last month, President Joe Biden ordered a new national research push on long COVID, while also directing federal agencies to support patients dealing with the somewhat mysterious and often debilitating condition.
The White House in April said Biden is assigning the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate an urgent new initiative across federal agencies, building on research already under way at the National Institutes of Health.
Biden also directed federal agencies to support patients and doctors by providing science-based best practices for treating long COVID, maintaining access to insurance coverage, and protecting the rights of workers as they try to return to jobs while coping with the uncertainties of the illness.
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