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Houston VA long COVID clinic offers help for Veterans

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For many Veterans who have had COVID-19, symptoms can linger long after the initial infection. To help these Veterans, Houston VA has established a special clinic to treat post-COVID conditions, also known as “Long COVID.”

“Some patients who have recovered from their initial COVID infection report new, returning, or worsened symptoms. These are known as post-COVID conditions, or Long COVID,” said Prathit Kulkarni, MD, an infectious disease specialist who is Assistant Chief of Medicine and Director of the Post-Acute COVID-19 Clinic at MEDVAMC. “We have set up a special clinic here at the medical center to diagnose, evaluate, and support these Veterans.”

Long COVID can include a broad range of lingering symptoms, including sleep loss, heart and lung issues, and trouble with mental processes such as thinking, learning, problem-solving, and memory, Kulkarni said. Because no two patients have the same symptoms of Long COVID, the team provides each Veteran with a personalized evaluation and treatment approach.

“Houston VA has a large array of specialists available to assist Veterans with Long COVID symptoms,” Kulkarni said. “We are committed to using a multidisciplinary approach to care for our Veterans and improve their quality of life.”

Since its inception over a year ago, clinicians in the Post-Acute COVID-19 Clinic have referred patients to Houston VA specialists in neurology, cardiology, mental health services, physical therapy, pulmonology, and more. The Houston VA is also fortunate to have the availability of post-COVID pulmonary telerehabilitation for Veterans with ongoing respiratory concerns after recovery from COVID-19. This program is run by pulmonary specialist Dr. Amir Sharafkhaneh. The Houston VA is also actively contributing to COVID research in the hopes of helping Veterans in every way it can.

Veterans experiencing symptoms are encouraged to contact their PCP for a consult to the Houston VA Post-Acute COVID-19 Clinic for a comprehensive evaluation.

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