Long COVID is more prevalent in these states, CDC data shows

More than 6% of adults in the U.S. have reported experiencing long COVID, the all-encompassing term for a wide range of symptoms that can last weeks, months and even years after a COVID-19 infection.

According to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2022, 6.4% of U.S. adults reported ever experiencing long COVID, but seven states saw long COVID rates exceed 8.8%. 

Here’s what else the CDC had to say about long COVID

What is long COVID? 

Long COVID refers to a "range of health problems that emerge, persist, or recur following acute COVID-19 illness," according to the CDC. 


FILE - Maddy Corper holds a placard saying that it was Long Covid which put her in her wheelchair. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Scientists don’t yet know what causes long COVID, but it encompasses about 200 different symptoms. Among the more common symptoms are chronic pain, brain fog, shortness of breath, chest pain and intense fatigue, according to Yale Medicine. 

"People with long COVID can have a wide range of symptoms that can last weeks, months, or even years after infection," the CDC says. "Sometimes the symptoms can even go away and come back again. For some people … long COVID can sometimes result in disability. Long COVID may not affect everyone the same way."

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Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, called for further studies into how long COVID is reported — including who reports it and the criteria they use to define their symptoms, which varies from region to region. 

"Vaccine uptake clearly plays a role, as multiple studies have shown that at least three shots decreases the risk of long COVID significantly," he told Fox News Digital.

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Siegel, who was not involved in the CDC study, said underlying diseases represent another significant factor.

"We know that obesity, for example, increases risk of severe COVID dramatically, and severe COVID correlates with persistent symptoms and long COVID," he said.

Where is long COVID the highest? 

West Virginia has the highest levels of long COVID, the CDC says, with 10.7% of people reporting long COVID symptoms. Long COVID exceeded 8.8% in the following seven states: 

  • Alabama
  • Montana
  • North Dakota 
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee 
  • Wyoming
  • West Virginia

Hover over the map below to see long COVID levels in each state. 

"The findings in this report address an important data gap in knowledge about the prevalence of long COVID," the CDC report explained. "Given the increased health care needs among persons experiencing long COVID, ongoing assessment … could guide policy, planning, or programming. State-level estimates might also help identify geographic disparities in long COVID across the United States that could guide interventions to promote health equity."

Fox News Digital contributed to this report.