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Six percent of workers with compensation claims for COVID-19 developed long COVID, according to a study released Thursday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
At an average of 18 months of post-infection experience, these workers received more than 20 weeks of temporary disability benefits and received an average of $29,000 in medical care, 10 times that which was spent on workers who were not treated for long-term health issues, according to researchers with the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institute.
Workers who were in an intensive care unit for their initial COVID infection were more likely to have long COVID symptoms, with 74% receiving medical services for symptoms that included a long list of ailments, including chronic cough, chest pain, fatigue and anxiety. Among those who were hospitalized but not in the ICU, 46% had post-infection health issues. Those with limited hospital treatment fared better: 20% of workers with two days of medical care and 5% of workers with just one day of services had long COVID symptoms, according to the study.
For its analysis, WCRI looked at COVID-19 cases reported with a date of infection between March 2020 and September 2021, and collected information on medical care and income benefits that were provided through the end of March 2022 across 31 states.