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University of Iowa examining long-term COVID-19 patients to find out effects on the body

The University of Iowa has a Post COVID-19 Clinic, where they research people with long-term covid-19 symptoms and try to find ways to help them.

IOWA, USA — Long-term COVID-19 symptoms and why they occur continue to be a mystery to doctors. 

A Post COVID-19 Clinic at the University of Iowa is turning to Iowans and their symptoms to find answers. 

"We have seen around 430 patients so far," Dr. Alpana Garg, an internal medicine physician who works at the clinic, said.

The clinic has been open for more than a year, and people who come are broken down into two groups: patients who were in the ICU and had severe lung issues, and those who were never stepped foot in the hospital had a mild infection that started experiencing symptoms later.

Garg said the point of seeing the patients and opening the Post Covid Clinic is about learning more than they once knew. 

To do this, the doctors gather information about the long-term coronavirus symptoms, as well as examine the patient's medical history prior to having the virus. 

Some of the post-covid symptoms include things like lung problems, people who are still experiencing fatigue or people who may now have a mental health problem, according to Garg.

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"We are actually evaluating the CT scan and the breathing test like what is wrong," she said. "And we screen for anxiety, we screen for depression, we counsel about going to therapy. We are sending patients to pulmonary rehabilitation … and then physical therapy occupational therapy. "

Some of the people the clinic is working with come every three to four months. Receiving continued evaluations and physical therapy, along with counseling, is paying off for some of the patients. 

"Doing what they're doing, having determination, all those good things actually helps," Garg said. 

To be a part of the research, a person does not have to be referred by their doctor, they can just sign up. If you are interested in being a part of this research, click here.

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