For some, the effects of having COVID-19 are lingering. Post-COVID conditions include fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, and other issues, such as the continued loss of smell or taste. In an effort to provide coordinated care for those suffering longer-lasting symptoms from the disease, U of U Health has opened a post-COVID-19 clinic.
More than 400,000 incidences of the illness have been confirmed in Utah. In most of those cases, the viral infection ran its course without new or ongoing symptoms. But for some, the effects of the disease have persisted. Overall, studies show up to 30% of COVID-19 patients experience post-COVID conditions, says Jeanette Brown BS’01, pulmonologist and medical director of the new clinic.
Along with providing patient care, the clinic will also conduct research on the longer-lasting impacts of COVID-19 in the hope that it will lead to better treatments.
The clinic will also feature collaborative educational sessions to help providers learn more about post-COVID-19 symptoms.
“Right now, treating COVID-19 and its long-term effects is like jumping out of an airplane and trying to make the parachute as you go down,” Brown says. “We still have a lot to learn about it. By gathering evidence and developing clinical pathways that are based on collaborative learning, we can funnel this knowledge into improving all aspects of long-hauler care.”