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long covid

Members of Yale New Haven Hospital’s Long COVID Program include specialists from a variety of areas, who take a team approach to treating lingering and sometimes new symptoms that appear after a COVID infection clears.

Long COVID Program takes team approach to battle stubborn symptoms

COVID-19 no longer dominates the headlines, but an estimated 1 in 13 U.S. adults are still suffering its effects months, even years, after they contracted the virus.

They have what’s called “long COVID” or “long-haul COVID” – characterized by symptoms lasting over three months that can’t be explained by another cause. Even after the COVID infection has cleared, old symptoms may linger, and new ones can develop. 

These symptoms can vary widely, which is why Yale New Haven Hospital’s Long COVID Program includes physicians and other experts in different specialties who work as a team to treat patients with:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog or poor memory or concentration
  • Chest pain or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath with exertion
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Headaches, joint pain, body aches
  • Lingering cough
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Insomnia or other sleep disorders

While long COVID may be worse for people who were extremely sick and hospitalized, even young, previously healthy people who had mild infections can get long COVID.

The Long COVID Program works like this: Patients are referred by a doctor, physician assistant or advanced practice nurse. A Long COVID Program internal medicine physician conducts an initial evaluation of the patient. Because COVID-19 may affect multiple organ systems, the physician leader and a nurse coordinator collaborate closely with experts from various specialties. Depending on a patient’s symptoms, their care team may include healthcare professionals from: 

  • Cardiology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Pulmonology
  • Social work

Team members work together to develop a care plan tailored to each patient and help them deal with the physical, mental and social and emotional aspects of long COVID.