COVID ‘Long-Haulers’ at Greater Risk of Dying, Study Shows
‘TIP OF THE ICEBERG’
New research published Thursday shows COVID-19 long haulers have a significantly increased risk of dying, even months after their original infection. According to the paper in Nature, COVID survivors have a 59 percent higher risk of death within six months of contracting the virus. This comes amid growing recognition of the long-term issues caused by Covid. “When we are looking at the acute phase, we’re only pretty much looking at the tip of the iceberg,” Ziyad Al-Aly, the researcher responsible for leading the study, told Bloomberg. Al-Aly and his fellow researchers have uncovered a host of conditions affecting survivors, including breathing difficulties, nervous system disorders, and musculoskeletal pain. They also found that “long haulers” are more likely to use antidepressants and pain meds. “We worry about potential spikes in suicide or potential spikes in overdose of opioids,” said Al-Aly, who said he hoped the research would help inform future treatment of long-haul COVID survivors.