The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) has launched a dashboard that shows how many millions of Americans are estimated to be experiencing Long COVID symptoms by state, county and nationally.

The dashboard is based on data from Johns Hopkins University CSSE COVID-19 data and the US census, and includes state- and county-level statistics and trends over time for the Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC or Long COVID) infection. AAPM&R’s dashboard has options for estimating the number of Long COVID cases based on different assumptions and percentages.

“Our dashboard is an important tool to help estimate and assess the growing population of people with Long COVID and help hospitals, clinics and healthcare professionals across the country prepare and plan for their care.”

— Steven Flanagan, MD, FAAPMR, Chair of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Grossman School of Medicine, Medical Director of Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU-Langone Health and Vice President of AAPM&R

Need National Plan to Address Long COVID

AAPM&R has called for a national plan to address the needs of millions of individuals who are suffering from the long-term symptoms of COVID-19, it notes in a media release.

“We need to better understand how many people have Long COVID and where those populations are located to ensure we have the appropriate resources and infrastructure to support them. Our call for a national plan emphasizes the need for research to advance the medical understanding of Long COVID, equitable access to care for patients and resources to build necessary infrastructure.

“Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that we, as a country, help Long COVID patients reach their highest levels of recovery, and this dashboard demonstrates the urgent need for a plan.”

— Steven Flanagan, MD, FAAPMR

According to two publications from the Journal of the American Medical Association, 10-30% of individuals who had COVID-19 reported at least one persistent symptom up to 6 months after the virus left their bodies. That means an estimated three to ten million Americans are experiencing symptoms of Long COVID, which are varied and ongoing, including neurological challenges, cognitive problems such as brain fog, shortness of breath, fatigue, pain and mobility issues.

In March, the Academy launched a multi-disciplinary PASC collaborative of experts to develop clinical guidance to improve quality-of-care as well as formal education and resources to improve experience-of-care and health equity. AAPM&R recently released the first Long COVID guidance statement on fatigue, which is a peer-reviewed guidance statement intended to help physicians make clinical decisions concerning treatment of Long COVID. Additional guidance will be published on a rolling basis, per the release.

[Source(s): American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PR Newswire]

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