(NBC News) – As COVID-19 cases climb, so are the number of “long haul” patients whose physical and mental symptoms persist long after others recover.
Research suggests as many as ten percent of coronavirus patients go on to become long haulers, with symptoms that continue for weeks or even months.
That’s prompted hospitals like University of Alabama Birmingham Medicine to establish specialty treatment units. They’re preparing to treat tens of thousands of long haul patients as the pandemic progresses.
While some researchers have noted long haulers tend to skew female, doctors at the Yale School of Medicine’s Post-COVID 19 Recovery Program aren’t seeing any age group, race or ethnicity impacted in particular.
“Patients continue to have impairments in physical functions, some patients are having problems with anxiety or depression,” says Yale’s Dr. Lauren Ferrante.
Researchers at the University of Oxford found around one in five people diagnosed go on to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within three months, including depression, anxiety and dementia.
“It seems that there is going to be an increase in in mental health demand. And, and so we need to be to be ready for that,” says Oxford’s Dr. Maxime Taque.
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