Freeman doctors seeing more “long-COVID” syndrome

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — As we continue into the pandemic, doctors are seeing “long-COVID syndrome” in the four state area.

Doctors say it’s affecting a significant number of COVID patients of all ages, anywhere from 7 years old to more than 40 years old.

Several serious and mild COVID recovered patients are still complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain, brain fog, and just simply overall feeling unwell, even after testing negative.

And, the interesting thing, doctors say, is that the patients appear “fine” during a physical exam, despite still having these symptoms.

It could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to feel well again, and that’s the underlying “good news” for doctors.

They do expect post-COVID syndrome patients to eventually fully recover, it’s just going to take some time and some extra steps to make that possible.

“It comes down to basically, you have to recondition yourself, which means you have to make sure you get good sleep. You have to get plenty of rest. You have to slowly get back into an exercise program. Eating right. Being healthy. If you’re smoking, you’ve got to quit smoking, because that’s just going to put more stress on your lungs and your heart,” said Dr. Robert Stauffer, Freeman Health System Cardiologist.

“I want to take this opportunity to again encourage you to get the vaccine if you’ve not done so. Encourage your friends and loved ones as well. It’s very, very important. It’s the tool that we know works against COVID-19,” said Paula Baker, Freeman Health System President & CEO.

Freeman’s president and CEO urges vaccinations because studies are showing vaccinated patients don’t usually have “long COVID syndrome.”

Meanwhile, 33 COVID patients, with 7 on ventilators, are at freeman today — that’s out of around 46 patients total in all Joplin area health systems, at last check.

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