Huntington Health, in partnership with Huntington Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and San Diego Biomedical Research Institute, has launched its Long COVID-19 Recovery Clinic for patients experiencing persistent symptoms, long after the initial illness.
Led by Kimberly Shriner, MD, medical director of infection prevention and control at Huntington Health, the clinic’s multidisciplinary care team includes cardiologists, neurologists, behavioral health experts, rheumatologists and more. This team studies the symptoms of long COVID and is dedicated to helping their patients by providing comprehensive treatment to restore their mental, emotional and physical well-being.
What is Long COVID
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines post-COVID conditions as “a wide range of new, returning or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus” and includes a long list of possible symptoms. Symptoms can present themselves post-COVID-19 even if the initial illness was mild or asymptomatic.
Why Research Matters
Long COVID can occur in up to 30-40% of survivors, and there is still much to learn about its effects. Understanding the causes and effects of long COVID is essential to developing effective therapies.
Potential causes and risks for long COVID, include immune disorders (e.g., the body cannot control or restrain an immune response), chronic inflammation, COVID-19’s interaction with pre-existing viruses (e.g., HIV or HSV), genetic factors and comorbidities. Also, the effect long COVID has on the brain, such as acute and chronic inflammation, myelin loss, neuronal deterioration, white and gray matter changes and hippocampal volume loss. Additionally, there’s evidence that the circulatory system of long COVID patients can exhibit blood clotting disorders, such as clotting too much or too little, or micro-blood clotting in blood vessels.
As research continues to uncover the causes behind long COVID, Huntington Hospital’s Long COVID-19 Recovery Clinic will continue to provide the latest, comprehensive, specialized care to manage the spectrum of long COVID symptoms. There are several therapies that may play a role in treating long COVID, such as anti-inflammatory medications, vaccines, antiviral medications, prophylactic medications, blood thinners and monoclonal antibody therapy.
Who is Eligible
If you have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are experiencing persistent symptoms for weeks beyond the initial illness, consult with your primary care physician to see if you would benefit from participating in our Long COVID Recovery Clinic. With a primary care physician referral, patients are welcome to call (626) 397-8410 to make an appointment.