It’s been a year and some change since the first reported COVID-19 case in the United States. Since then we’ve learned a lot about the virus, and while vaccination rates and loosening restrictions suggest that the worst of coronavirus may soon be behind us, there’s still much about it that we don’t understand. Recent upticks in concerning variants like the B.1.1.7 are being studied, and we still don’t quite understand when or if we’ll reach herd immunity.
And there’s another big gap in our knowledge: the long-term physiological health effects of COVID-19.
Recently, Oregon Health and Science University launched its Long COVID-19 Program, aimed at studying and providing comprehensive care for patients who have experienced COVID-19 symptoms for more than a month. For this week’s episode of Footnotes, we talked to Eric Herman, the program’s lead physician, about the types of symptoms folks are experiencing and what this new program hopes to learn from studying these so-called “long haulers.”