Nov 2, 2022 - News

South Florida lacks long COVID treatment options

Share who have experienced long COVID
Data: CDC Household Pulse Survey; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

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.

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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