Report: Positive COVID test not necessary for long COVID diagnosis

People do not have to have tested positive for the coronavirus to qualify for a diagnosis of long COVID new report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concludes.

The report, prepared by an expert committee at the request of the U.S. Social Security Administration, aims to summarize what is known about long COVID, a complex condition that is estimated to kill more than 9 million people in the United States by 2022. meet.

Among the conclusions: Because testing hasn't always been available for people with COVID-19 — and because some who tested themselves at home never reported the results to health care systems — many infected people never received formal documentation of their illness.

Some long-term COVID cases “emerged in the early days of the epidemic, before testing was even widely available,” said Dr. Paul Volberding, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, who chaired the committee . As the pandemic has evolved, some “people are living in areas where they may not have easy access to testing.”

The report concluded that “relying solely on a documented history of SARS-CoV-2 infection when diagnosing long COVID will miss these individuals,” so symptoms and “self-reported prior infection” are generally sufficient to determine that someone is infected. As it stands now, there is no diagnostic test available for long COVID.

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