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Long COVID: How the virus will be a health risk after the pandemic

What's the coronavirus endgame?
Hanna Barczyk for NPR

As the number of COVID-19 survivors increase, medical professionals are able to gather more data about long COVID.

Long COVID is when patients have lingering symptoms weeks or even months after recovering from COVID-19.

Common symptoms include losing a sense of taste and smell, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

Long COVID is also known as post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC.

"In some cases, those symptoms appear even if somebody never had COVID symptoms in the first place — they might have had an infection but never really knew that they had it — and then they start getting these symptoms," said Dr. Ethan Berke from the UnitedHealth Group.

"So there’s a lot of work that’s starting to take place around understanding what you said around different variants have different presentations of these long term symptoms. We have seen that some people have less issues with taste and smell with omicron than with other variants," Berke said.

More researchers are beginning to focus on the aftereffects of the virus as case numbers from the omicron variant decrease and the pandemic shows signs of becoming endemic.

For more information on vaccine eligibility and locations, visit hawaiicovid19.com.

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