On February 2nd, Bateman Horne Center joined 10 other ME/CFS organizations in a letter to the US Congress urging them to prioritize investments that will address the impending surge of people experiencing Long COVID. In this letter we ask congress to: fund three federal agencies and create a commission to collaborate Long COVID studies, teach physicians how to care for patients, and conduct diagnostic and clinical trials that will lead to early diagnosis and effective treatment.
According to Dr. Fauci, 25 to 35% of people infected with COVID-19 experience lingering symptoms, and Drs. Bateman and Komaroff have estimated that 10% of people with Long COVID could go on to develop ME/CFS. This expected increase would likely take the current impact that ME/CFS has on the US economy from $51 billion annually to $102 billion next year. The impact on individuals, families, the healthcare system, and our economy warrants sounding the same alarm that we have been sounding for decades on behalf of ME/CFS and FM.
As the ME/CFS and FM patient community experience the implications of an ongoing pandemic and subsequent wave of new complex chronic illness cases also seeking care, Bateman Horne Center continues to provide timely educational and support resources (free of charge) while also marching forward on critical research and educating the medical system. We are grateful for the $1.15 billion that congress allocated last month to the NIH and are confident that investment in Long COVID will lead to advances that will benefit those with ME/CFS, FM, and post-viral illness.