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Public health agency trying to find out how many Canadians struggling with long COVID

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the government is trying to find out how many Canadians are suffering from long COVID as researchers work to learn more about the prolonged effects of the virus.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada have launched a survey to try to get a broad idea of how common it is for people to feel lingering effects after COVID-19 infection, which can be difficult to identify and even harder to track.

Relatively little is known about the effects of long COVID, also known as post-COVID-19 condition, including how to diagnose it.

Read more: Canada’s 6th wave of COVID has plateaued or is post-peak in some areas: Tam

The public health agency says there have been reports of more than 100 symptoms associated with the condition.

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Though data is scant, Tam says she expects long COVID to have a substantial impact on Canadians.

Tam says there’s emerging evidence that COVID-19 vaccines offer some protection against long COVID, but those studies are still ongoing.

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