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NIH’s Collins Says Long Covid Has Created an Unexpected Burden

Sept. 23, 2021, 8:05 PM

Long-term symptoms of Covid-19 affecting millions of Americans are “a deep mystery” that is troubling scientists and straining the health-care system, said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

“We have a huge burden here of chronic illness that we weren’t planning on as part of a pandemic,” Collins said at a virtual event sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies on Thursday.

With most respiratory viruses, people get sick for a week or two. But with the SARS-Cov-2, nearly 30% of people infected get long Covid, according to a U.K. study from February. Why that happens is a “surprising ...