As Americans continue to grapple with the effects of long COVID, the Biden administration on Monday announced the creation of a new office focused on research about the condition that will be part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Office of Long COVID Research and Practice will lead the U.S. response to long COVID, which incudes trials that have already been launched, the HHS said in an agency news release.
“As our nation continues to make strides in combating COVID-19, it is crucial that we address the impact of long COVID and provide resources to those in need,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Last year, President Biden called on HHS to coordinate the response to long COVID. The official establishment of the Long COVID Coordinating office and the launch of the RECOVER clinical trials solidifies this issue as an ongoing priority.”
The $1.15 billion RECOVER research program is meant to better understand, treat and prevent long COVID; as many as 23 million Americans have developed the condition, according to HHS estimates.
Research has identified 12 possible symptoms of long COVID, including worsening of health after mental or physical activity, fatigue, brain fog and dizziness, changes in taste or smell, thirst and changes in sexual desire or capacity. It can also include gastrointestinal symptoms, heart palpitations, chronic cough, chest pain and abnormal movements.
These are among more than 200 symptoms that have been associated with long COVID.
“The Office of Long COVID Research and Practice will enhance efforts being undertaken across the U.S. government to improve the lives of those who continue to experience the long-term impacts of the worst public health crisis in a century,” said HHS Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Dr. Rachel Levine, who will lead the new research effort. “Bringing together the resources and expertise of federal, state and local partners, patients, providers, researchers and the business sector to answer the American peoples’ most urgent calls to action.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on long COVID.
SOURCE: Department of Health and Human Services, news release, July 31, 2023
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