U.S. Sees Several Clinics Dedicated Solely to Post-Covid 19 Care

Over a dozen new medical clinics have recently opened up around the U.S., and they’re likely to keep appearing. These clinics are dedicated solely to understanding, treating, and validating patients who are suffering from the after-effects of COVID-19. Known as Covid “long-haulers,” these patients continue to struggle with Covid-related symptoms for weeks — and even months — after they’ve recovered from the initial virus.

New York City’s Catherine Busa — a 54-year-old school secretary — is one such long-hauler. Busa caught the novel coronavirus back in March, but she still continues to experience strange pain, changes in her sense of smell and taste, and a deep depression. Having dealt with these issues for nearly eight months, Busa was happy to visit the clinic at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center dedicated solely to post-COVID-19 patients.

Not only did the clinic begin to address her physical concerns, it also gave credence to the ailments she’d struggled with for many months. “They validated the way I felt, said Busa. “That has helped me push through everything I’m fighting.”

Jamaica Hospital is not the only medical center to open up a clinic like this. They’ve been appearing in several places throughout the country, all with different approaches. What they all have in common, though, is their dedication to learning more about “post-covid syndrome,” while also treating it and validating patients who have concerns.

Dr. Alan Roth, who heads the Jamaica clinic, has struggled with the after-effects of COVID-19 himself. He has struggled with body pain, fatigue, and brain fog since he contracted the virus back in March. “We know this is real,” he said.

Nearly everything in the scientific realm is still unclear when it comes to the novel coronavirus, and its after-effects are no exception. Scientists are still working to understand how many people are experiencing long-term COVID-19 symptoms and why they affect some patients and not others.

Dr. Wesley Self of Vanderbilt University co-wrote a report on this matter, which was released back in July by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of then, it seems that about 30% of COVID-19 patients keep experiencing issues that interfere with their daily lives two to three weeks after receiving a positive test. Up to 10% of COVID-19 patients experience issues three to six months later.

It’s important to note that not all of the COVID-19 long haulers had an intense form of the virus. Some cases were very mild. For instance, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s clinic has patients as young as 23. According to the clinic’s director Dr. Justin Seashore, half of all their patients, who range up to age 90, were never even in the hospital. Those patients were told by their doctors that they should be on the mend, but things just didn’t feel right. They instead felt tired, short of breath, and depressed, among other things. Some of them have even been told they’ll have to use oxygen for the rest of their lives.

Some clinics, like St. Johns, have adopted an approach of following up with any patient who has received a positive COVID-19 result. They hope to schedule physical exams, behavioral health visits, and monthly follow-ups with all of those patients. So far, they’ve seen nearly 1,000 patients.

Scientists and medical doctors still don’t have a concrete, all-out cure for post-Covid syndrome. But these clinics are aiming to offer certain methods of relief for their patients that their regular doctors just don’t know about. The goal is, first and foremost, to give patients a safe space to voice their concerns and hopefully get some answers.