What Pittsburgh doctors know about long-haul COVID-19

PITTSBURGH — Many people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 recover completely within a few weeks. Others aren’t so lucky. For some people who contract the virus, the symptoms can last for months.

Some are calling it long-haul COVID, and the effects can be devastating.

Angie Slemock was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April. Months later, she’s still feeling the effects. “My biggest issues are brain fog, and my cognitive function is just not normal,” Slemock told Channel 11′s Ryan Houston. She took a leave of absence from her job and told us she has trouble walking, reading and has extreme fatigue.

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Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s post-COVID clinic tell us that every case is different.

“There’s no specific testing, per se, for long-haul COVID-19. What it is is a presentation of symptoms that did not exist prior to COVID-19 that are still persisting,” says Dr. Karla Yoney.

The team at the clinic is working to better understand the long-term impact of the virus and to help diagnose and treat people who are experiencing symptoms for more than three months. Since November 2020, the clinic has diagnosed 650 people with long-haul COVID.

The clinic is seeing 50 patients a month, and October 2021 was the busiest month so far.

More information on the UPMC Post-Covid Recovery Clinic.