LAKELAND, Fla. - The state’s first clinic for people with prolonged problems due to COVID-19 is being slammed with patients.
Watson Clinic created its long-haulers clinic last fall with a handful of patients. Now, it has more than 250 patients and a six-month waiting list.
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"This is the only place people have to go," explained Dr. Kathleen Haggerty, the clinic founder, commented. "There aren’t other clinics, and it is needed."
Haggerty says this is the only clinic of its kind in the Bay Area. After it launched in Lakeland, long-hauler clinics opened in Jacksonville and in Miami.
COVID-19 long-haulers can have a variety of symptoms, including shortness of breath, exhaustion, and brain fog.
Ironically, some COVID-19 sufferers, who lose their taste and smell while they are acutely ill, have the opposite problem in the following months and experience phantom taste sensations.
"Unfortunately, those are usually bad taste sensations like smoke or ashes," Dr. Haggerty shared.
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Dr. Haggerty says surprisingly, her patients are not always elderly.
"It is really heartbreaking to see people who are 35 years old, or 27 years old," Haggerty said. "They can’t think to go to work. They can’t physically do their job, even if that job is a desk job."
The clinic is still accepting patients, but it will probably be months before the news ones are seen.
LINK: Click here for more information on Watson Clinic's long-hauler clinic.