The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Recovered from COVID, yet in it for long haul
MIDDLETOWN — Over a year into the pandemic, vaccinations for COVID-19 are providing Connecticut residents hope. In all, 977,061 state residents have been fully vaccinated, and U.S. air travel over Easter weekend hit record numbers since before the pandemic.
There have been 325,689 positive COVID-19 cases to date (confirmed and probable), and, sadly, 7,974 residents passed, according to portal.ct.gov.
Of the many that did recover from COVID-19, there are those that have ongoing symptoms, which are commonly referred to as post-COVID “long-haulers.” An estimated 10 to 15 percent of those who had COVID-19 are considered to be in this category — where the virus has cleared, yet they experience ongoing debilitating effects.
Although recovery from COVID-19 can vary in length of time and severity, long-haulers have lingering symptoms that don’t go away. The most common are fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain and chest pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has studies that are being conducted to see who is most likely to be long-hauler, how common their symptoms are, and whether they will eventually resolve. Other chronic symptoms may include headache, depression, difficulty concentrating and loss of taste or smell.
Hartford HealthCare’s COVID Recovery Center was established to provide resources for patients with post-COVID symptoms and connect them to appropriate services. For information, contact 860-8273200. Outpatient rehabilitation, neurology, cardiology, and behavioral health are among the specialties patients can be referred to.
Another local resource for long-haulers is Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford. For information, visit gaylord.org or call 203-284-2845.
For patients and families, a virtual COVID-19 support group is being run by the National Health Care Associates. If interested in attending, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-335-7526 for the Zoom link. Meetings will be held the second Tuesday of the month from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
According to many sources, the best treatment for long-haulers is to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In a recent article in the New York Times, infectious disease physician Dr. Daniel Griffin from Columbia University stated that about 40 percent of longhaulers that he has treated had symptom improvement after the receiving the vaccine.
In addition to those who experience chronic COVID-19 symptoms, there is a concern for long-term complications from the
virus, which can affect organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys. The CDC is looking at the significance of chronic health
problems related to COVID-19.
Water’s Edge Center for Health & Rehabilitation in Middletown. She can be reached at email@example.com.