Biden: Long COVID Could Be Considered a Disability

long COVID, Biden, disability
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The Biden administration announced today that long-COVID could qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

An assessment is needed to determine whether an individual’s case is deemed a disability in that it “substantially limits a major life activity.”

This announcement occurred on Monday morning, as President Biden and Vice President Harris celebrated with 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law in the Rose Garden at the White House. President George H.W. Bush signed the civil rights act into law in 1990.

What is Long COVID?

In about a quarter of cases, people experience long-term effects weeks or months after having the virus, These symptoms can range from shortness of breath to an increased heart rate. The most common long-term complications have been kidney, lung, and heart problems. But mental effects are also prevalent, such as brain fog and even dementia-like symptoms. 

A recent study found that long COVID is associated with more than 200 different symptoms, the most common of which were fatigue, post-exertional malaise, and brain fog.

For many, the amount and duration of symptoms cause them to be unable to go to work. In the study, 22 percent reported not being able to work, and 45 percent needed to reduce working hours.

Long COVID Symptoms

In addition to those mentioned above, the symptoms of Long-COVID can include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Itchy skin
  • Changes to the menstrual cycle
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Heart palpitations
  • Bladder control problems
  • Shingles
  • Memory loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Tinnitus
  • Temperature regulation issues
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mental health problems
  • Dysautonomia
  • Low functioning immune cells
  • Migraines
  • Numbness in feet and hands
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Heart abnormalities

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Related Resources

Coronavirus and Long COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Labor

Disturbing Coronavirus Symptoms in Older Adults: Doctors Grapple with COVID-19 “Long-Haulers”

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