Long COVID present in 6% of comp claims: study

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.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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