CLEVELAND (WJW)– New research on COVID-19 long-haulers, those who experience long-term symptoms of the virus even after it is out of their systems, revealed surprising results Tuesday.
“We are seeing long-hauler patients with new health problems,” said Dr. Keith Armitage, medical director for University Hospitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine and Global Health.
University Hospitals is among the area hospitals treating former COVID-19 patients who are experiencing new issues even months after the fact.
“People can have all sorts of other problems. Dizziness, eye problems, problems with blood pressure and heart rate,” Armitage said.
The new health conditions were reported in a recent study that tracked the health insurance records of millions of Americans who got COVID-19 last year.
“We also see patients having sleep disorders. We don’t know if the sleep disorder is from COVID itself,” said Dr. Nora Singer, director of rheumatology at MetroHealth.
MetroHealth has a post-COVID clinic and said other issues include mental health conditions like depression.
“We don’t precisely know if COVID itself might alter mental health. Whether or not the infection is interacting with things in the brain,” Singer said.
The most surprising part of the study is health problems were reported among people who had a mild case or no symptoms at all.
“It’s all the more reason to get vaccinated. Long-haulers is no picnic,” Armitage said.