WMUR Coronavirus – Newsletter

Citing concerns about the lingering and sometimes debilitating long-term impacts of COVID-19, and observed inequities amongst minority patients suffering disproportionately from the virus, medical experts on “long COVID” issued the first guidance of its kind to diagnose and treat the illness.  

Experts at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation said they hope the guidance will help other doctors leverage their experience with patients to help address and mitigate their symptoms.

The guidance indicates widespread concern among medical experts that even months after resolving the initial infection, COVID is still causing serious health concerns for many Americans. At least 9 million long COVID patients are grappling with a range of symptoms, but experts said that number could be as high as 28 million people.

A priority in addressing long COVID is to “recognize, assess and treat” the symptoms across a wide range of medical disciplines, including cardiovascular and pulmonary to neurologic, cognitive, and gastrointestinal care, experts said.

Dr. Alba Azola, the lead author of the autonomic dysfunction guidance statement and member of the Johns Hopkins Post-Acute COVID-19 Team, said the medical community will need to tailor individual rehab protocols for each patient’s unique needs.

The most common long COVID symptoms children experience are fatigue and attention problems, ongoing fever, headaches, sleep issues, and new mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Older, female children may be at an increased risk of developing long COVID, Morrow said.

Symptoms, management and rehabilitation for long COVID differ for children and adults, the experts said. Moreover, parsing out a long COVID diagnosis from other potential medical problems is not easy, since long COVID can involve so many of the body’s systems.

  • There have been more than 96.38 million coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 1.059 million people, according to Johns Hopkins.

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