covid-19 long haulers

Stanford Clinic to Treat, Study COVID ‘Long-Haulers'

The facility has 35 patients, some with chronic post-COVID symptoms.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Stanford has opened a new clinic to help COVID survivors still battling symptoms recover.

The patients, so-called long haulers, will also help doctors and researchers understand why some of them cannot recover from the coronavirus.

The Stanford facility has 35 patients, some with chronic post-COVID symptoms. Officials said the work being done at the clinic is between research and therapy.

For Rosa Flores, a post-COVID patient, it has been nearly a year since she contracted the virus.

"It was not bad," Flores said. "Moderately even with underlying conditions. I felt I got off easy."

Flores endured a month of isolation as she continued to have a fever. Then post-COVID symptoms hit, starting with hair and hearing loss.

"I started seeing symptoms like cognitive fog," she said. "I couldn't remember what some of the words meant when we would do crossword puzzles -- or even how to spell them."

Flores also then experienced dizziness and other symptoms.

"Some patients over time take few months before they start recovering," said Dr. Hector Bonilla, Stanford infectious disease professor.

Bonilla runs the new clinic that both treats and studies long-haul COVID patients -- those with sometimes severe symptoms that last months or more after getting the virus.

"We have the opportunity to understand this problem, try to figure the best way of diagnosis and best way of treatment for this kind of population," Bonilla said.

Doctors are also trying to find out if vaccines could help long haulers.

Bonilla said since vaccines help fight off infections, they might help prevent post-COVID symptoms. But more study is needed.

The other big mystery medical officials are looking into is why some COVID patients, even severe coronavirus patients, recover completely, while others develop these dramatic after effects.

Flores said she is feeling better since starting treatment at the Stanford clinic, but still is not ready to say she has beat the virus.

Contact Us