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COVID long-haulers remain challenge for Utah doctors

Posted at 11:23 AM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 21:40:59-05

MURRAY, Utah — As the pandemic enters its third year, doctors are learning more and more about COVID-19 long-hauler patients.

Hundreds of Utahns who initially recovered from the virus continue to have lingering effects that can last up to a year.

The Long-Hauler Navigator Program at Intermountain Healthcare comes from a result of what experts are seeing as they deal with patients who have the continuing symptoms.

Some of the most common long-hauler symptoms include brain fog, fatigue and chest pain, but there are hundreds of others, including so-called "neurological zingers." It also tends to affect younger people, typically in good shape physically and no comorbidity factors.

Long-haulers has been a challenge that doctors have been dealing with since the beginning of the pandemic.

“I think the good news is that with a sort of carefully planned out, joint, decided plan, we have actually been able to see people improve over time. So my message to the community is, it will get better it just takes a long time,' said Dr. Ellie Hirshberg, an Intermountain critical care physician.

The Long-Hauler Navigator Program was started to try to bring in experts across many specialties, with the hope of getting patients the right care in a quick time frame.

Those looking for information can call the Intermountain Healthcare Long COVID Navigation Program at 801-408-5888.