Salt Lake City, Utah – According to a new report from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, about 100,000 Utahns have experienced lingering COVID-19 symptoms, also known as long haul COVID-19.
Experts found that 30% of people who had COVID-19 experienced symptoms for up to six months after being cleared of the illness.
“We’ve counted cases and vaccinations and deaths and those that have been hospitalized, but there’s never been any count on those of us who are dealing with the long-term effects,” said Lisa O’Brien, who has suffered from COVID-19 symptoms for almost 18 months.
The modeling estimate was based on two recent reports from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
According to Dr. Jeanette Brown, medical director at the University of Utah COVID-19 Long Hauler Clinic, he has treated roughly 100 patients since the middle of summer.
The waitlist for the clinic was at 350 people, and Dr. Brown said she expects that number to go up.
“I think about our current resources and how we’ll have to adapt those to take care of patients,” she said.
The healthcare system will have to adapt to balance the potential increase in demand for long-hauler patients with current resources, Dr. Brown said.
“As that need grows, how fast will that happen, when will they need to be seen, what kind of care will happen both short term and long term?” she asked.