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Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam still has long COVID-19 symptoms more than a year after his initial infection, he said in an interview with the Virginian-Pilot.

Why it matters: The Democratic governor is one of millions of Americans suffering from symptoms of long COVID, which could have serious implications for employers and social programs if enough people can no longer work because of it, per Axios' Caitlin Owens.

Context: Long COVID is a term used to describe people who have COVID symptoms for longer than four weeks after their initial diagnosis, per Axios' Marisa Fernandez.

Flashback: Northam, who tested positive for COVID-19 in September 2020, said in May that he had not recovered his sense of smell or taste.

Details: The governor said that his symptoms morphed into experiences of parosmia, a condition where things smell and taste different, and phantosmia, episodes of smelling something that isn't there.

  • A glass of lemonade now tastes like gasoline, Northam told the Virginian-Pilot.

What he's saying: “I’m 62, and I can deal with this, [but] why take a chance, if you’re 15 or 20 years old or whatever age, of having symptoms that may affect you for the rest of your life?” Northam said.

Go deeper

Nov 27, 2021 - World

South Africa says it's being "punished" for detecting new COVID variant

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor addresses the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 22 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz - Pool/Getty Images

South Africa said Saturday it's being "punished" for detecting the new Omicron coronavirus variant as more countries rush to enact travel bans and restrictions.

Driving the news: The U.S. imposed air travel restrictions from eight countries Friday in response to the Omicron variant. Countries in Europe and Asia have also implemented their own travel restrictions in response to Omicron.

Updated Nov 27, 2021 - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.