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Clinic at Memorial Health treating patients with long COVID symptoms

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 4:23 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Some attention is shifting to a condition we’ve tracked throughout the pandemic - long COVID symptoms.

A new clinic is now open to the public in Savannah that will specifically aim to help “long haulers.” The physical therapy clinic is at Memorial Health, and currently taking patients.

The team at Memorial Health says the clinic is specifically looking to help people with the long COVID, sometimes referred to as long-haulers, is the first of its kind in the area.

While research is still coming out on long COVID symptoms and effects, Carty Powers, Manager of Memorial Health Outpatient Therapy, says up to a third of COVID patients have at least one symptom past four weeks.

“Some of the most common symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle weakness, brain fog, difficulty swallowing if they happened to be intubated,” said Caty Powers, Manager of Memorial Health Outpatient Therapy.

Powers says it’s not only people who were hospitalized who might be experiencing long COVID effects.

“Some of these symptoms are from people who were at home quarantining, got better, but still have symptoms that are lingering.”

The new clinic will be referral-based, meaning a patient’s doctor would need to make a referral.

“Our therapists here are working as a multi-disciplinary team, our physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists…to work together to meet the patients goals. Return them to work, return them to their previous activity level.”

They have a few patients already, just now entering therapy. Powers says the program length will vary patient to patient, but on average, could last eight up to twelve weeks.

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