'Long haul' COVID: Doctor describes patients' 'crushing headaches,' 'cognitive symptoms' after recovery

"The long-haul COVID could really impact people and it's really going to be the young adults who get it," says one Stanford doctor.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Concerns are growing about what is being called "long-haul" COVID-19.

These are lingering and often serious symptoms appearing in someone after they've already beat the virus.

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A medical study that came out this week finds 1 in 3 coronavirus survivors are dealing with serious neurological symptoms.

"People are having crushing headaches, people are having cognitive symptoms," says Dr. Joanna Hellmuth who is a neurologist at UCSF in San Francisco. Dr. Hellmuth is describing some of what's called, "long-haul" symptoms, or lasting conditions, that her COVID-19 survivor patients are currently dealing with.

"I have a number of patients who were not that sick with COVID and now have lasting cognitive problems that really impair their ability to do their job the way they did before," says Dr. Hellmuth.

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A study released this week finds that one third of those who had Covid-19 are now dealing with a "brain disorder" that sometimes includes anxiety, mood disorders, and in some rarer cases even strokes. Dr. Hellmuth says her patients have several other lasting symptoms too including headache disorders, vertigo, ringing in their ears, and a condition where a persons blood pressure isn't being regulated well and they end up passing out.

Stanford's doctor Grace Lee says coronavirus precautions and vaccines are just as important due to these long-haul threats.

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"The long-haul COVID could really impact people and it's really going to be the young adults who get it," says Dr. Lee.

Dr. Hellmuth says some of her patients dealing with these issues are teens. On Facebook many coronavirus survivors responded to our post on this topic. Maria described "daily headaches and Vertigo." Crystal says she's getting the vaccine due to "concerns over these lingering side effects."
"I have patients who got Covid 19 over a year ago in early march 2020 who developed cognitive symptoms when they were acutely ill who still have them, who have not gotten better," says Dr. Hellmuth who is currently working with others in the medical community to try and figure out what is causing these symptoms so that they can better help those dealing with them.

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