Covid-19 SA: set up long Covid clinics to help the sick

Those who have long suffered from the effects of Covid may have access to specialized care to help fight their disease.

South Australians will have access to four clinics to help treat those suffering from the effects of the long-term Covid.

Clinics will be established, including one at Royal Adelaide Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Flinders Medical Center, as part of the state government’s efforts to support those affected.

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital will offer a specialist service for the care of children with long-term Covid.

All patients with symptoms – such as fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches, and mental health problems – after 12 weeks of infection can be referred to a clinic after consulting their primary care physician.

Once referred to a clinic, patients will be triaged, evaluated and tested by trained personnel and subsequently receive a comprehensive care plan.

In the past three weeks, 50 people have turned up at Royal Adelaide Hospital alone feeling the effects of the long Covid.

Health Minister Chris Picton said those who had received three doses of the vaccine were less likely to contract the post viral syndrome and urged residents to receive the booster.

Deputy Director of Public Health Emily Kirkpatrick said it’s important for those who still have symptoms four weeks after infection to see their GP.

“(This can) impair their ability to function normally before Covid and they have difficulty carrying out activities of daily living such as work and family care,” he said.

Renjy Nelson of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) said vaccination reduced the impact of the long-standing Covid.

The infectious disease consultant said Australia was expected to reduce patients compared to other countries because the nation was so well vaccinated, but said there was no certainty.

“People who were very fit before (Covid) now see themselves unable to climb flights of stairs, with aches and pains, with some degree of cognitive decline or a disturbed sense of smell,” said Dr. Nelson.

“Some of what we are seeing is the exacerbation of already underlying diseases, such as mild sleep apnea syndrome which now (presents as) severe apnea syndrome.

“Long Covid is an entity we need to be aware of … there are at least two to three million people around the world suffering from it.”

Originally published as The big step of the state to cure the long Covid