Long COVID Explored in University Settings

Higher prevalence seen among those with underlying conditions, not fully vaccinated, former/current smokers

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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- In an article published online Jan. 26 in Emerging Infectious Disease, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, factors associated with long COVID are explored in a sample of COVID-19 cases among university members.

Megan Landry, Dr.P.H., from the George Washington University Milliken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined the prevalence and predictors of long COVID in a sample of 1,338 COVID-19 cases (median age, 23 years) among university members during July 2021 to March 2022. Cases completed confidential electronic surveys, including questions about long COVID after 30 days of the initial positive response.

The researchers found that 36 percent of COVID-19 survivors reported experiencing symptoms consistent with long COVID. Those who had underlying conditions, were not fully vaccinated, were female, were former/current smokers, experienced acute COVID-19 symptoms, reported higher symptom counts, sought medical care, or received antibody treatment were significantly more likely to report symptoms of long COVID.

"From a university standpoint, this analysis is key to understanding how administration can fill the needs of the campus population that has long-term complications caused by COVID-19," the authors write. "Universities might benefit from the adoption of preventive resources for their populations, as well as extended pandemic leave, given the considerable long-lasting effects of long COVID."

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