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Virus Expert Just Issued This Sober Warning

Long COVID is here and not enough of us are vaccinated.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The USA is falling further behind the world in vaccinating people from COVID-19. And this will have disastrous consequences, warns virus expert Dr. Ashish Jha. Dr. Jha, Dean of the School of Public Health, Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University, recently commented on the country's too-slow progress—and spoke about Long COVID on Crooked Media's What A Day podcast. Read on for five essential points that will save your life—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

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Virus Expert Warns the USA is Falling Way Behind

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"Portugal now the global leader with 84% of population fully vaccinated," Dr. Jha tweeted. "Canada? 71% Cambodia 65%. US is 40th globally at 55%. Even Vermont, our most vaccinated state, would rank 15th in the world. US is falling further and further behind. We've got to get our act together folks." As a result of these low vaccination rates, average daily COVID deaths in America have reached 2,000—and more and more Americans are getting Long COVID. Keep reading to see what that is, according to Jha.

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Virus Expert Warns There is "A Lot of Suffering Out There" Besides Death, Warns of Long COVID

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Why isn't Long COVID getting more attention? "We're still in the middle of an acute kind of crisis with thousands of Americans dying every day," said Dr. Jha on What a Day. "And so when that happens, it makes sense that the attention turns towards saving lives and managing the most critically ill people. Second is I think there's been a lot of denialism about COVID, kind of COVID minimization, by members of our community by a lot of people out there. And that means that we focused only on death. We talk about mortality rate a lot. We don't talk about the suffering that COVID is causing. And we've got to look at this much more holistically. Yes. Death of course, awful, very, very centrally important, but there's a lot of suffering out there that we have not paid attention to because we've been focused too much on mortality alone." Keep reading to see the symptoms.

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Virus Expert Says These are Long COVID Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of Long COVID? "It's really a broad range of stuff," Jha told What A Day. "Probably the most common thing people talk about is fatigue and really profound fatigue. So we're not talking about, oh, I feel a little extra tired today. Like we all have fatigue some days we're talking about people who are debilitated with that fatigue, people who were functional, who worked long hours could do all sorts of things who now are really struggling to get through the day. That's probably one of the more common things. A lot of people describe what people colloquially talk about is brain fog. Just a sense of, they're not as clear in their thinking. They're struggling with problems that they could handle pretty effectively before they got infected, wide range of other stuff. Some people have persistent fevers. That's less common. Other people have problems breathing. It's, it's really a large mix. And one of the things that we've got to do clinically is sort this out, is this all one condition or these multiple different conditions we don't know yet. We're gonna have to figure that out."

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Virus Expert Says You Won't Be Able to Ignore Those With Long COVID Forever

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"First and foremost, I think one of the things we're going to want to do is make sure that we acknowledge the suffering that's out there. A lot of people with long COVID feel invisible, they feel like they've gone to talk to their doctor, or they've talked to other people and aren't getting much acknowledgement for what they're going through," said Dr. Jha on What a Day. "There is going to be this very substantial financial cost along COVID. And again, I don't wanna turn this too much into money, but you know, people obviously need care. That's gonna be expensive. There are gonna be people who are gonna be disabled by this, and we're gonna want to support them through disability payments. All of that needs sorting out. But it says to me that as we recover from this pandemic, we will realize that the cost of the pandemic, certainly isn't all the lives of the people we have lost, but also in the lives of so many people who've really suffered and have emerged from it with real challenges."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

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If you feel you have Long COVID, speak to a medical professional, And follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more