Is long-haul COVID the next public health crisis?

The Anaheim Convention Center is a mass coronavirus vaccination site in Orange County. Researchers have found symptoms can persist long after contracting COVID-19. These include fatigue, fevers, anxiety, depression, and more. Photo by Laura Kondourajian/KCRW

Last month, the National Institutes of Health announced a $1 billion four-year study to research so-called “long COVID.” According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, sleep disorders, fevers, GI symptoms, anxiety, and depression. 

KCRW talks about the study and impacts of long-haul coronavirus cases with researcher Dr. Denise McCulloch, journalist and long-haul COVID-19 patient Fiona Lowenstein, and health care administrator and long-haul COVID-19 patient Cliff Morrison. 

Lowenstein says she contracted the virus on March 13 and was hospitalized sooner after. At 26 years old with no major pre-existing conditions, she says she was shocked at the severity of the symptoms. New symptoms cropped up once she left the hospital. They included extreme fatigue and debilitating flu symptoms during her menstrual cycle.