State Health Secretary Rachel Levine said Wednesday that there is a newer investigation into COVID-19 “long haulers” who recover, but experience lingering health problems related to the virus.
She said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that 35% of those who were no longer contagious said they “had not returned to their usual state of health.”
She said 82% of Pennsylvania residents who have tested positive for the virus have recovered, “but that just means they are no longer contagious.
“The true recovery can be a long process,” Levine said.
She said there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who are considered long haulers and that they are more likely to be women than men.
She said about 20% of the long haulers are young adults who had no pre-existing conditions before developing the virus.
Her comments came shortly before her department announced that the statewide daily total number of new COVID-19 cases had returned to four digits.
There were 1,153 new cases of the virus reported Wednesday in Pennsylvania, taking the total since March to 158,967. Levine’s department announced 19 new deaths from the disease, none of which occurred in Washington, Greene or Fayette counties.
Allegheny County had two new deaths, both of which were associated with long-term care facilities.
Allegheny Health Department Director Debra Bogen said Wednesday that she was pleased to announce that county’s virus cases have been “relatively stable and quite low.”
Bogen said the number of cases among college students in the county was about 325 in September, a number that was “exceedingly low” when compared to other campuses.
Washington County had 11 new cases of the virus Wednesday, taking its total to 1,375. Greene County added two new cases to its total of 190. Fayette County saw three new cases, taking its total to 812.