WCPO-TV: The Rebound, finding a new normal
UC expert discusses how COVID-19 'long-haulers' are still fighting as pandemic recedes
As vaccination continues and mask restrictions have eased, COVID-19 remains a concern for much of the nation. It’s not just the unvaccinated that are at risk, but people who have recovered from COVID are still facing challenges. Some are battling long haulers syndrome, reports WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 still report problems with shortness of breath, continuing problems with the sense of taste and smell, brain fog and other issues.
Doctors at UC Health say they have seen hundreds of patients with an additional 10 each week. Symptoms of long haulers syndrome range from mild to severe. About 75 percent of those impacted are women and 75 percent are age 30 and younger. Richard Becker, MD, director of the University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, spoke with WCPO-TV about long haulers syndrome.
“Up to 70 percent of individuals who are less than 50 years of age with COVID, including mild COVID, will have one or more lingering symptoms up to six months after their initial infection,” Becker, also a UC Health cardiologist, told WCPO-TV for a segment.
Patients suffering from diminished senses are benefiting from therapy that exposes them to a wide variety of tastes and smells to retrain those nerves. “The virus has an impact on nerves and nerves are the way we appreciate smell and taste and we are retraining those nerves to do what they normally do,” Becker told journalists.
Michael Flannery, a local philanthropist and host of Fox 19’s Club Nineteen, also spoke to WCPO-TV about his own recovery and lingering effects of COVID-19. “Today is not a great day for me. I feel weak and I have pain in my joints,” Flannery explains.
Flannery was diagnosed with COVID-19 in February, lapsed into a coma and eventually spent six days on a ventilator. His recovery required him to undergo physicial therapy to regain the use of his limbs and he is now seeing a pulmonologist because the pneumonia he suffered during COVID-19 has damaged his lungs.
Featured image of Richard Becker, MD, taken by Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.
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