As new cases of COVID-19 continue to emerge at a high rate across the United States, there are more reports of “long COVID,” or COVID-19 symptoms that persist weeks or months after someone first tests positive for the virus.
This week’s Economist/YouGov poll finds that four in five Americans (81%) have heard “a lot” (33%) or “a little” (48%) about long COVID. Half of U.S. adults (51%) say they are worried about experiencing long COVID, about the same proportion (52%) who are worried about contracting COVID-19 generally.
One in five Americans (21%) now report that they personally tested positive for COVID-19 at some point during the pandemic. As positive cases continue to be reported nationwide, so are instances of long COVID. This week’s poll finds that three in 10 Americans (29%) know someone who has experienced long COVID — including themselves. That includes 6% of Americans who have had it themselves, 15% who have a close friend who has had it, and 13% with a family member who experienced the prolonged symptoms. American adults under 30 are especially likely to have had long COVID (9%) and/or to know someone who has.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between January 29 - February 1, 2022. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3% for the overall sample.
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