HONOLULU (KHON2) — Most people with COVID get better within weeks to months of illness, according to the CDC, but there are those who do not. As officials study more about the long-term effects linked to the virus, a post-COVID clinic on Oahu has been helping patients for four months now.
KHON2 spoke to Dr. Fritzie Igno, the Queen Emma Clinics Medical Director. She says they don’t know exactly how many people in the state or across the nation have had post-COVID symptoms, but the Queen’s Post COVID Care Clinic has seen dozens of patients so far.
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“We started December 18, 2020. We have seen so far about 60 to 65 patients,” said Dr. Igno.
Some of the most common symptoms in long-haul patients include fatigue followed by shortness of breath, chest pains and brain fog.
“Some of these patients describe this to me like difficulty in word finding, being forgetful,” Dr. Igno said. “And of course, these are all subjective complaints, right? What we are hoping to accomplish in our clinic is to be able to objectively evaluate these symptoms.”
Dr. Igno says some medical literature suggests folks 50 and older and those who may have multiple chronic medical conditions are found to be at risk for long COVID. Long COVID is a range of symptoms that can last anywhere from weeks to months after infection, according to the CDC.
“Early studies showed that about one in every 10 individuals may develop long COVID symptoms that may last at least a year after they were diagnosed. So again, you know, a lot of this is not determined but, fortunately, the CDC and NIH are giving major support to be able to answer those questions,” Dr. Igno said.
The CDC says officials are working to learn more about the short and long-term health effects. For information that’s out there now on post-COVID conditions, click here.