We’ve previously written about the advice from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that, “Repeat COVID infections increase your risk for both hospitalization and Long COVID.”

The HHS has been giving similar advice on social media throughout summer, stating, among other things, that, “repeat infections increase your risk of Long COVID.”

The HHS has also said, “The more often you get COVID, the higher your risk of complications.”

While the social media advice focuses on staying up to date with vaccines, a visit to HHS.gov presents a fuller picture.

The HHS advises, “To prevent Long COVID the best protection remains to prevent COVID-19 in the first place by taking precautions like staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine.”

Prevention of infection is the official US government advice for avoiding Long Covid, likely because there are no recognized treatments for the complex condition that can manifest in a multitude of ways.

In addition to staying up to date with vaccines, the HHS advises the use of N95 respirator masks to prevent infection even offering advice to ensure it fits and is worn properly.

In summary, the official US government advice is that reinfection increases the risk of Long Covid and long-term health complications, that the best way to protect against Long Covid is to avoid COVID-19 infection in the first place and that the toolkit to do so includes N95 respirator masks.

Scientists studying Long Covid have said, “The oncoming burden of long COVID faced by patients, health-care providers, governments and economies is so large as to be unfathomable.”

Given the potentially debilitating nature of the condition, the lack of understanding around its cause, and the scale of the challenge confronting us, one has to ask why more people aren’t following the official public health advice to avoid Long Covid and incorporating N95 respirator masks as part of daily life?

Covid.gov advice
HHS mask guidance