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Covid Long Haulers Syndrome: what is it and why does it happen?

The outside of the Wyoming Medical Center
The outside of the Wyoming Medical Center(Haley Roedder)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - If you were one of many Americans diagnosed with Covid-19, you may still have felt those symptoms weeks or even months after your diagnosis. Long Haulers Syndrome, or post Covd symptoms as many people are calling it, is impacting people across the country.

“It depends on the individual. And there’s some correlation with how sick you were with Covid in the beginning. The more severe cases of Covid, patients seem to have more sever symptoms that persist even longer,” said Dr. Andy Dunn, Chief of Primary Care at Wyoming Medical Center.

The most common symptoms of Long Haulers Syndrome include fatigue, sleep disturbances, and inability to concentrate. Many individuals with Long Haulers Syndrome have symptoms that resemble post-concussive situations. Those experiencing this may have light sensitivity and headaches, which closely match severe Covid symptoms.

“And then you get into the respiratory illness part of it. Some people are really short of breath, still, months after their initial infection, especially with ambulation,” said Dr. Dunn.

Many of those dealing with respiratory issues still struggle with day-to-day activities such as walking. Doctor Dunn says some of those patients may require oxygen still, months after their initial infection. Some cases include cardiac issues as well, including inflammation of the heart.

“It’s something that we take very seriously. And that’s why we’re trying to educate everyone about it because it can present so widely different symptoms,” said Dr. Dunn.

Several providers at Wyoming Medical Center have developed a program to help those dealing with Long Haulers Syndrome. The program includes a variety of areas, such as respiratory therapy, behavioral health counseling, dietary needs, and more to help with each individual’s needs.

“I always tell people that the hip bones connected to the knee bone. And much like post Covid Long Haulers Syndrome, everything is a domino effect of something else so we try to put it together as a team approach with different specialties and different modalities in the community,” said Dr. Dunn.

Doctor Dunn says Long Haulers does not effect everyone, and it’s hard to tell who it will impact. Studies are in the works to determine if prior health factors may make you more susceptible to Long Haulers Syndrome.

“I can’t tell who’s going to have some issues and who’s not. Our patient volume has grown and there’s some that have Long Haulers Syndrome that I wouldn’t have expected them to have it,” said Dr. Dunn.

Doctor Dunn says the best thing people can do right now is to educate themselves and continue to give grace and help one another.

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