South Florida lacks long COVID treatment options
More than a quarter of Floridians who know they've had COVID say they've also experienced the often disabling aftereffects known as long COVID, according to recent CDC data.
Driving the news: Nearly 24 million adults in the U.S. have long COVID, and more than 80% are having some trouble carrying out daily activities, Axios' Sabrina Moreno reports based on CDC data released last month.
- The rate of those reporting long COVID symptoms was highest in West Virginia (49%), compared with the state with the lowest rate, Vermont (22%).
State of play: Long COVID symptoms can include shortness of breath, cognitive difficulties and symptoms that worsen even with minimal physical or mental effort — a primary indicator of chronic fatigue syndrome, Moreno writes.
- The pandemic brought more attention to chronic fatigue, once largely dismissed in health care, but misunderstandings and stigma persist.
- Up to 4 million Americans are estimated to be out of work because of long COVID, according to a Brookings Institute report in August.
Zoom in: Florida lacks an adequate number of long COVID treatment options to meet the need, Survivor Corps, an advocacy group for COVID care and research, told Axios.
- The group has identified only four active long COVID clinics in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
What they're saying: Miami rheumatologist Norman Gaylis offers long COVID treatment at his Aventura office, with options spanning from a zinc-based dietary supplement he developed to corticosteroids and fluids.
- Gaylis told Axios that his patients have complained about not having enough treatment options in the area.
Yes, but: Memorial Healthcare System recently expanded long-COVID treatment options to all 11 of its primary-care locations across South Broward and North Dade, a spokesperson said.
Be smart: A study published recently in JAMA Network Open found long COVID could set individuals back the equivalent of a decade's worth of aerobic fitness, the Washington Post reported.
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