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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Covid ‘long haulers’ can also suffer lasting impact on their finances. Here’s one woman’s story

  • In addition to the increases in health-care costs that come with treating ongoing problems, there can be a big hit to income if symptoms are severe enough to rule out working.
  • The National Institutes of Health has launched an initiative to research why some Covid survivors become long haulers.
  • Exactly how many people end up in this category is hard to know.

Laura Crovo still has some lingering Covid symptoms, despite having contracted the virus last April.

It's been 10 months since Laura Crovo has felt entirely normal.

Since testing positive for Covid last April, the 41-year-old Marylander has yet to shake off all of her symptoms. And on top of battling them — mostly a racing heart (tachycardia), occasional fatigue and a lingering cough — she and her husband, parents of two children, are still paying off the thousands of dollars in debt that they racked up last year due to her persisting illness.

"I think you see a lot of people who are better in a week or two, and that's not necessarily the case for everyone else," said Crovo, who is far better than she was at her worst last year, when working was an impossibility.

As so-called Covid "long haulers" like Crovo navigate treatment options and the uncertainty that comes with long-lasting symptoms — i.e., when will they feel better? — they also have to deal with the cost. In addition to copays or coinsurance that may be required for a multitude of tests, doctor's appointments and treatments, there can be lost income if symptoms are severe enough to prevent working.

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