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What fmr. US surgeon general and WISH med. expert says about long COVID

Health Spotlight: Federal numbers suggest 18-million Americans have long COVID

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dr. Jerome Adams, the WISH-TV medical expert and a former U.S. surgeon general, talked Monday about several COVID topics.

New federal numbers from two studies suggest 18 million Americans have long COVID. The results did not surprise Adams, who says he’s been trying to alert people to long COVID for some time. The studies would translate to about 7% of all adults and over a million children reported ever having long COVID.

“So, we want people to know that getting COVID isn’t just just about acute symptoms that most people do, in fact, get over, but it also includes a long-term consequence that far too many people are underestimating and that they’re dealing with many people in my circle. Talk about it as their greatest fear and hesitancy of getting COVID is the fact that that could happen to them.”

About half of the people who’ve contracted long COVID system have seen symptoms disappear.

“But for half of people, those symptoms get better but don’t completely go away, which is why we tell people it’s better not to get COVID in the first place.”

Adams also says that people contracting COVID, including the mayor of Westfield, Indiana, in recent days, is something that’s expected to continue. He says it’s a good reason to get vaccinated against COVID as well as the flu and RSV.

“The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says it’s OK to get all three at the same time. I got my COVID and flu vaccines at the same time, and I suggest that if you’re going in, just get them both so that you don’t have to worry about not being protected against one or the other.

“RSV vaccine is recommended for people over the age of 60. Talk to your doctor about it. But as far as timing vaccines, I would recommend waiting a little bit longer to get that RSV vaccine because RSV season is more like December, January, February; you’ve got a little time for that. We’re in a surge right now of COVID. Get that COVID vaccine. If you’re someone who was going to get it anyway, and if you’re not someone who was going to get it, at least talk to your doctor about it. I want you to be protected. I want you to make a smart decision, one, that’s right for you, and we’ve got tools but the tools don’t help us if we don’t use them.

“I had a friend this weekend tell me she added the shingles vaccine to that cocktail one-stop shop. Get it all done at once.”

This story was created from a live interview aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.