(Good Things Utah) Intermountain Healthcare is launching a new medical resource for Utahns who’re considered “long haulers” – people who have tested positive for coronavirus who continue to experience chronic symptoms months after their recovery from the virus. 

Intermountain doctors hope the new navigation program will serve as a resource for Utahns who continue to experience problems long after their COVID infection.

The program is designed to help triage resources and care for COVID patients in Utah who have experienced ongoing COVID symptoms for 12 weeks or longer.

Based on a patient’s condition, symptoms, and acuity, they’ll be referred to a specialist who can follow up and address their ongoing medical issues. 

The phone number for the new Intermountain Healthcare Long COVID Navigation Program is 801-408-5888.

“As far as we know, this is one of the first kinds of COVID patient navigation programs in the nation,” said Dixie Harris, MD, a critical care physician at Intermountain Healthcare, who treats patients with COVID. “This is not a standalone clinic, but a multi-disciplinary approach and resource for patients across the state of Utah who are experiencing Long COVID.”

Long COVID refers to COVID-19 patients who have persistent symptoms three months or longer after their initial infection. 

Some studies and surveys with patients show that between 30–50% of people infected with COVID continue to have bothersome symptoms for months, even though the virus is no longer in their bodies. 

Based on those figures, researchers estimate that 100 million people worldwide have experienced lingering health concerns or are still reporting problems following a COVID infection and can be considered COVID Long Haulers. 

“Many patients who we’re treating are frustrated with their ongoing symptoms and that they just don’t feel like they did before they became sick. They need validation that their condition is real and that there is hope,” said Ellie Hirshberg, MD, Intermountain Healthcare critical care physician involved in the Intermountain Long COVID Navigation Program. “The good news is that for many patients, they do get better, but it can be a slow process.”

Find more information online at IntermountainHealthcare.org.



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