Long Covid may be ‘the next public health disaster’ — with a $3.7 trillion economic impact rivaling the Great Recession

By Greg Iacurci

KEY POINTS

  • Long Covid is a chronic illness resulting from a Covid-19 infection. It goes by many names, including long-haul Covid, post-Covid or post-acute Covid syndrome.
  • Not much is yet known about the illness. Its symptoms number in the hundreds and can be debilitating. They can also be challenging to diagnose — for doctors even willing to do so.
  • Long Covid has affected as many as 23 million Americans. It may cost the U.S. economy $3.7 trillion, roughly that of the Great Recession, according to one estimate.

Sam Norpel used to present regular financial updates to C-suite executives.

Now, unpredictable bouts of broken, staccato speech make that impossible for the former e-commerce executive.

Despite being up to date with vaccines and boosters, Norpel, 48, got Covid-19 in December 2021, when the highly transmissible omicron variant was fueling record U.S. caseloads.

She never got better — and in fact, feels worse, with a range of debilitating symptoms that make it impossible to work.

More from Your Health, Your Money

Here’s a look at more stories on the complexities and implications of long Covid:

Her halting speech can be triggered by something as innocuous as cold water or cool air on the skin. Extreme noise sensitivity requires her to wear noise-canceling headphones all day. She’s also endured a low-grade migraine for nearly a year, which can flare up after prolonged screen time.

Link to article on CNBC.com by Greg Iacurci

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