DETROIT – Patients who survived COVID-19 and are still experiencing “long haul” symptoms fear they are being left behind as the world tries to come out of the pandemic.
COVID long haul patients are a reminder about how much the world still doesn’t understand about COVID-19. Long haul clinics are popping up across the country to help treat the patients and research why they still have the symptoms.
Rosa Flores works from home now and it was almost a year ago that she got COVID.
“It was not bad,” Flores said. “Even with an underlying condition, I felt I got off easy.”
She said she went through a month of isolation as she continued to have a fever. Then, after the virus was gone, she started noticing hair and hearing loss.
“I started seeing symptoms like cognitive fog. I couldn’t remember what some of the words meant when we would do crossword puzzles or even how to spell them,” she said.
Then she experienced dizziness and other symptoms.
Earlier in 2021, the National Institutes of Health launched a billion-dollar study to try and identify the causes of long haul COVID and ultimately find the best treatment and prevention methods.
Researchers are also trying to determine if vaccines could help some with long haul symptoms. There is anecdotal evidence that they do. The central question remains a mystery -- why do some COVID patients, even severe COVID patients, recovery completely while others develop dramatic after-effects.
Flores said she’s felt better since starting treatment at a long haul clinic but she still isn’t ready to say she’s beat COVID.
“It’s very scary. It’s scary because you don’t expect it to affect your personality,” she said.
If you are experiencing long haul symptoms, it is important to seek treatment. Many patients are seeing improvement with treatment and they are helping contribute to an overall understanding of the symptoms.