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Long-term COVID side effects still a problem for some

It's been three years since the world shut down due to COVID-19, and doctors are still seeing patients dealing with long-term symptoms.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Millions of people around the world have had COVID-19 and experienced the many symptoms that go along with it. Some patients only dealt with symptoms for a short period of time; others have had ongoing symptoms lasting roughly six months.

Dr. Michael Wolk has worked with many patients known as long-haulers at Northeast Rehab in Scranton.

"There's no pattern as to who gets this. It has been shown that the vaccine can be beneficial in preventing it, but even people who've been vaccinated can still get long COVID," Dr. Wolk said.

Dr. Wolk says experts have done a lot of research on the virus and its variations, and they've learned a lot in three years.

"Our National Academy of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation has taken the lead on developing consensus guidelines on how to treat people with long COVID or long-hauler syndrome."

Doctors at Northeast Rehab developed a COVID-19 recovery program to help those long-haulers find what works for them.

"We've also learned that there are a lot of other types of tests that we can do. It involves multiple specialties. It's not just physical medicine rehabilitation. You need your pulmonologist. You need your primary care physician. You need your cardiologist. You may need a neurologist. You may need a rheumatologist."

Dr. Wolk says the most common long-haul symptoms are fatigue, anxiety or depression, and brain fog. Patients need to be treated to meet their specific needs, whether it be medication, diet, exercise, or other treatments.

"We have learned quite a bit with regards to acupuncture and how that can actually help an individual with their fatigue, their energy, and regaining their loss of taste and smell."

Dr. Wolk says if you're dealing with long COVID, he recommends seeking medical help to find what works best for you.

Watch more stories about the coronavirus pandemic on WNEP's YouTube page.  

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