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  • The potential implications of the answer are huge. Because the wildly contagious Omicron has infected so many millions of people, if only a small fraction of those who catch it develop long COVID, millions could be burdened with symptoms for months, if not years.

For any given person, the good news is that there is no reason to think, at this point, that Omicron will be more likely to cause a long-haul condition than other variants. And Caroline Maslo, an infectious disease physician at a Netcare hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, says that, anecdotally, she has not yet seen evidence of persistent symptoms in her patients in the country.