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COVID Impacts

Detailed information and resources on the long-term health consequences of COVID-19 infection and the broad social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Risk Factors

Researchers are working to understand which people or groups of people are more likely to have Post-COVID Conditions, and why. Studies have shown that some groups of people may be affected more by Post-COVID Conditions. These are examples and not a comprehensive list of people or groups who might be more at risk than other groups for developing Post-COVID Conditions:

  • People who have experienced more severe COVID-19 illness, especially those who were hospitalized or needed intensive care.
  • People who had underlying health conditions prior to COVID-19.
  • People who did not get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People who experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) during or after COVID-19 illness.
  • People with longer duration of COVID-19 test positivity.

Health Disparities and Long COVID

Some people are at increased risk of getting sick from COVID-19 because of where they live or work, or because they can’t get health care. Health inequities may put some people from racial or ethnic minority groups and some people with disabilities at greater risk for developing Post-COVID Conditions. Scientists are researching some of those factors that may place these communities at higher risk of both getting infected or developing Post-COVID Conditions.


The prevalence of post-COVID conditions has been challenging to estimate, with estimates ranging widely (5–30%). Reasons for these wide-ranging estimates include:

  • differing symptoms or conditions investigated
  • the temporal criteria used (three weeks up to many months following SARS-CoV-2 infection)
  • the study settings included (outpatient vs. inpatient)
  • how symptoms and conditions are assessed (e.g., self-report vs. electronic health record database)

Household Pulse Survey Long COVID Data
Latest Data: Phase 3.10 (August 23 - October 30, 2023)
  • 57% of adult Americans reported to have ever had COVID-19 infection
  • 25.6% of adult Americans who have had confirmed COVID-19 infection have reported Long COVID symptoms either previously or currently
    • When comparing to all adult Americans regardless of COVID-19 infection status, 14.3% of all adult Americans have reported Long COVID symptoms
  • 9.5% of adult Americans who have had confirmed COVID-19 infection are currently reporting Long COVID symptoms
    • When comparing to all adult Americans regardless of COVID-19 infection status, 5.3% of all adult Americans are currently reporting Long COVID symptoms
  • Of those who have reported Long COVID symptoms, 82.8% have experienced some level of activity limitations, and 28.4% report that they experienced significant levels of activity limitations
    • This accounts for 4.6% of the adult U.S. population

Long COVID in Children

In 2022, a research team from UC Davis published a systematic review and meta-analysis in Scientific Reports that included 21 studies with over 80,000 children and adolescents found that the prevalence of long-COVID was 25.24%, and the most prevalent clinical manifestations were mood symptoms (16.50%), fatigue (9.66%), and sleep disorders (8.42%). Children infected by SARS-CoV-2 had a higher risk of persistent dyspnea, anosmia/ageusia, and/or fever compared to controls.

Vaccination Impact on Long COVID Risk

Studies are now beginning to show a mild to moderate protective effect of COVID-19 vaccination against Long COVID symptoms. "A growing consensus is emerging that receiving multiple doses of the COVID vaccine before an initial infection can dramatically reduce the risk of long-term symptoms. Although the studies disagree on the exact amount of protection, they show a clear trend: the more shots in your arm before your first bout with COVID, the less likely you are to get long COVID."