National Institutes of Health to study ‘long-haul’ COVID-19 symptoms like brain fog, breathing problems: Fauci

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In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The National Institutes of Health is launching research to understand the causes and consequences of the lingering brain fog, breathing problems and malaise reported by many recovering COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says some studies have shown up to 30% of patients report symptoms that can endure for months, complicating their return to normal routines and work, and plunging many recovering patients into depression.

Fauci noted at a White House coronavirus briefing on Wednesday that work at NIH started this week thanks to more than $1 billion provided by Congress for COVID-related medical research. Government scientists are looking to enlist doctors and research institutions around the country in the effort to learn about “long-haul” COVID-19.

Fauci says a critical issue is whether COVID-19 predisposes some patients to other medical problems later, such as conditions affecting the heart or brain.

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