Thursday, February 2, 2023

Persistent COVID symptoms more common among Latinos and Bronx residents

this is part of the article missing them, tribute and journalism project for COVID-19. Missing Them seeks to understand the collective impact of the pandemic on New Yorkers. Are you suffering from persistent health problems after having COVID? Please share your experience with us Here, We would also like to hear from those of you who are continuing to care for people with COVID, including family members, caregivers, and health care professionals. read the story in english Here,


Last year, Latinos and Bronx residents across the city had disproportionately high rates of reporting persistent COVID symptoms, according to new data from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene obtained by the City.

In the Bronx — which has the highest COVID death rate in New York City — 28% of adults with COVID said their symptoms were persistent, the highest percentage in the city. In Manhattan, 20% of adults with COVID reported persistent symptoms, the lowest percentage of the five boroughs.

Among Latino adults in New York City, 30% of those with COVID reported having at least one persistent COVID symptom, compared to 23% of all white adults with COVID.

This data comes from the 2021 New York City Community Health Survey which has not yet been released.

The survey randomly selected nearly 10,000 New York City adults and asked whether they reported symptoms after a COVID infection, including cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, trouble thinking, headache, joint pain, gastrointestinal upset, clots and depression. Have experienced any prolonged conditions. , This was the first time the department asked these questions in its annual community health survey.

Dr. Celia Quinn, deputy chief of health for disease control, testified at a city council hearing last month that a 2021 health survey shows that “up to 30% of New York adults who have had COVID-19 have Neither can experience Covid continuously in any form.

Women were 1.4 times more likely to report symptoms than men.

“This represents an enormous burden and threat to public health,” said Dr. Dennis Nash, an epidemiologist and executive director of the CUNY Institute for Applied Science in Population Health. “Once someone recovers from the acute phase of their COVID infection, it does not mean that they will recover in a short period of time. There are a lot of people who are having a tough time.”

The poll, which relies on self-reporting of their symptoms by New Yorkers, may not capture the full picture. “We may potentially be underestimating the burden of persistent COVID in some communities,” Nash said. “People with better access to healthcare are more likely to support the link [con el COVID],

The persistently high incidence of COVID in the Bronx confirms that “many of the risk factors for persistent COVID overlap with those of COVID, and they also overlap with socioeconomic disadvantage,” he said.

City will continuously track COVID

Because COVID-19 is a new virus, studies like this “are very important in increasing our understanding of its impact,” Quinn wrote in an email to Citi. A spokeswoman said the city’s health department is working to set up a system that will continuously monitor the prevalence and severity of COVID among New Yorkers over time.

Scientists can’t yet say conclusively what drives the disparity in persistent COVID rates, though experts point to some possible reasons. Black, Latino, and low-income New Yorkers are more prone to type 2 diabetes and HIV — factors that research has shown consistently increase their chances of developing COVID.

Women are more likely to experience autoimmune diseases, and scientists have seen links between some of these conditions and frequent COVID. Women also tend to shoulder a greater share of household chores, which can hinder adequate rest. Lack of rest, especially early in the illness, has been consistently shown to worsen COVID.

Transgender, bisexual and people with disabilities are also reporting higher rates of the condition, according to national statistics.

“Infectious diseases can be indicators of inequality, marginalization and discrimination,” says JD Davids, a New Yorker and longtime HIV and AIDS activist who co-founded The Network for Long Covid Justice. “I think it’s imperative that we look specifically at New York City to see what’s happening.”

low attendance, low responses

Katrina Corbel, 44, contracted COVID-19 in March 2020 as the city began to go into lockdown. Every time she thought she was improving, she would again suffer severe symptoms of shortness of breath, migraines, sinus pain, and diarrhea.

“Every day it got worse and worse,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t stay awake.”

There was little help for Corbel, who lived in the Bronx in the months that followed. He began to feel palpitations and dizziness, and the old conditions resurfaced. Corbel has a history of epilepsy. He hadn’t had a stroke in two years; Suddenly they came back.

Like many others suffering from persistent COVID, doctors offered Corbel few answers. Some were supportive, others disapproving… and all seemed perplexed. After three months of her symptoms getting worse, her GP identified high levels of D-dimer in her blood, a possible sign of blood clots. Her doctor urged her to stay calm, pack a bag, leave food for her dog and cat, and go to an emergency room.

There, she was treated for a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a clot blocks blood flow in an artery in the lungs. Just a week earlier, his pulmonologist had dismissed Corbel’s concerns about COVID and had failed to detect clots.

Like Corbel, people with persistent COVID can experience a wide variety of symptoms and associated conditions. Both blood clots and neurological conditions — such as seizures — are consistently associated with COVID. It is estimated that up to half of people with persistent COVID meet the diagnostic criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome, a complex and debilitating condition.

New Yorkers can be tested for COVID continuously at twenty-four private and public clinics across the city, including three city-run COVID-19 Centers of Excellence in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. To date, the centers have had more than 20,000 visits, according to testimony from NYC Test and Treat executive director Ted Long at a council hearing last month.

The city also offers Aftercare, a phone line and website that directs New Yorkers with persistent COVID to local clinics and an online support group.

looking for more help

But health rights advocates say these services don’t help enough. They point to the continuing shortage of doctors able to identify and treat Covid, as well as the barriers patients face, such as high costs and denial of health insurance claims.

At a City Council hearing in October, Mount Sinai director of rehabilitation David Putrino urged city leaders to develop policies to “guide and enforce the necessary standards of care” for New Yorkers with persistent COVID.

Aftercare directs residents to Body Politic, a support group led by patients and run largely by volunteers.

“It’s one of the main places in the city where people find support, information, connection,” said Davids of The Network for Long Covid Justice. On November 1, the Body Politic team announced that the community of 13,000, which is home to a New York City-focused Slack channel, risks ending in early 2023 if they do not raise additional funding.

Activists like Davids are also increasingly calling on city leaders to build a stronger support system for COVID, modeled after the city’s own HIV/AIDS administration, which includes benefits, housing and assistance with accessing medical care. There are frequent couples living with COVID with caseworkers. ,

unable to work

Corbel was set to start two jobs in the spring of 2020: one with the US Census Bureau and the other with the New York City Board of Elections. Both the jobs were put on hold with the advent of the pandemic. In June, Corbell received a call to begin work as soon as the city reopened. But she was too ill to accept any position. “I had to turn them both down because I literally couldn’t get out of bed,” she said.

An estimated 3.5 million to 4.5 million people across the United States are persistently unemployed due to COVID, according to a recent Brookings Institution analysis of data. Research published in The Lancet suggests that around 20% of people with persistent COVID are unable to work, and a reduction in the number of working hours has worked for around half of those who have.

With no income, Corbel relied on unemployment benefits and federal stimulus funds to survive. “A non-profit organization provided me with a gift card,” he said. “And that’s how I was able to buy food for my cat.” Once benefits ended, Corbel said she lived on $183 a month in cash assistance from the Human Resources Administration for more than a year. Then, in December 2021, he was granted his application for Supplemental Security Income. [Supplemental Security Income],

Now, he is completing a certification as a New York Peer Specialist at the Academy of Peer Services to help New Yorkers struggling with mental health and substance abuse. And Corbel has returned to volunteering regularly at the church. But still not fully recovered.

After a three-month wait, Corbel was accepted into NYU’s post-Covid care program, and continues to have regular appointments with specialist neurologists and pulmonologists. Although he no longer suffers from the most severe symptoms, his physical stamina is limited.

“I still can’t do all that walking upstairs, or going up stairs, or doing anything that requires climbing. And I remember before March 2020 I could go up four flights of stairs ».

For the past two years, Missing Them has documented the stories of New Yorkers who died of COVID, Now, the team has turned to understanding the collective and long-term impact of the pandemic on the city. If you are a New Yorker who is constantly suffering from COVID, we would like to hear from you. What are your biggest challenges and unanswered questions? What advice do you have for other New Yorkers constantly suffering from COVID like you? tell us Here,
read the story in english Here,

Missing Them is supported by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia School of Journalism.

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