AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia are hard at work studying the long-term effects of COVID-19. Patients are arriving at Augusta University Health with a variety of illnesses after recovering from the virus. Illnesses vary — from mild symptoms, such as fatigue, coughing, or loss of taste and smell, to severe symptoms, such as blood clots and organ damage.
“It probably happens somewhere in the range of 10 percent of individuals, maybe a little bit more, depending on how severe their course with COVID-19 was,” Dr. Rodger MacArthur, an infectious diseases expert at the Medical College of Georgia, said.
Not everyone will battle one of these illnesses. MacArthur says young people and those without underlying health conditions are less at risk.
Augusta University is now working to form a Post-COVID-19 clinic to treat patients battling these various illnesses. However, they are running into some challenges.
“Each person has a different subset or cluster of these symptoms. It’s hard for scheduling purposes to have a pulmonologist, critical care expert, psychiatrist, cardiologist or neurologist there.”
Casey Corbin tells NewsChannel 6 she has battled COVID-19 twice. She now suffers from headaches and migraines.
“This has been weekly,” she explained.
Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia are studying the neurological impact of COVID-19, specifically if it causes headaches, confusion, seizures or strokes. They are also examining how the virus affects mental health, with some people reporting becoming depressed after recovering. 500 participants, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, will be examined over the next five years as part of the study.
Health professionals say the risks posed by Post-COVID-19 syndrome present another reason for the public to do its part to keep the virus from spreading because the long-term effects can be severe.