Black Americans suffering from Long COVID have trouble accessing care: ABC News

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Americans have made up a disproportionate share of cases, hospitalizations and deaths compared to any other racial or ethnic group, and now, doctors and advocates are warning that the Black community is facing another barrier: access to Long COVID care, reported ABC News on Monday.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, with the latest update conducted between Jan. 4 and Jan. 16, 28.7 percent of Black respondents said they currently have or have had Long COVID.

One Black Long COVID patient Chimére Smith, a 40-year-old former middle school English teacher from Baltimore, Maryland, said she paid more than a dozen visits to doctors and hospitals asking for help, but was discharged after every visit with no treatment plan in place.

"There is a history of distrust when it comes to the Black community and the health care system due to beliefs among patients that doctors won't treat them as well as their white counterparts. A 2012 meta-analysis found Black patients were 22 percent less likely than white patients to receive any pain medication," said the report.

Long COVID occurs when patients who were infected with the COVID-19 virus have lingering symptoms for more than four weeks after recovering. In some cases, these symptoms can persist for months or even years.

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