What we know about long-term Covid and how to get help

The effects of COVID-19 are differently for many people and for a small percentage, the side effects can linger for significantly longer than the initial illness. Across the country, there are only 66 health systems that have created long-haul Covid clinics and two are in Ann Arbor.

As much of Metro Detroit and the country returns to a normal routine, there are still some who aren't able to resume what life was like before Covid. There are at least 8 millions Americans who suffer form long or post-Covid, which can impact things like going out, sleeping, and even employment. The U.S. Government Accountability Office says it has put at least a million people out of work.

Dr Katharine Seagly is the Co-Director at the University of Michigan Adult Post-Covid Clinic. They have two of the 66 clinics - one is for adults and the other is for children and is at C.S. Motts Children's Hospital.

"Many of the patients that we see have really been sidelined from their lives, and from things that are meaningful. Sometimes patients come to us, they haven’t returned to work. They haven’t been playing with their grandkids because of their symptoms," Dr Seagly said. "They might be working with physical medicine or rehabilitation physician, a physician’s assistant. They might be working with physical therapists to improve physical symptoms. They might work with a speech language pathologist."

The CDC considers post-Covid as new, returning, or ongoing health problems people experience for four more weeks after first being infected. At UofM, patients must have had symptoms for three months or longer.

Despite all the tools doctors now have to fight the virus, Dr. Seagly says the number of referrals to the clinic has remained steady since it opened last year.

"We don’t have to have all the answers about Covid. It’s going to take some time to determine what exactly is going on to maintain symptoms," Dr. Seagly said.

For anyone with lingering symptoms, U o fM Health created pascguide.com which lists strategies and offers help for patients to manage their condition.