VA to Tackle Care for Long Covid
Last updated 10/4/2022 at 3:38pm | View PDF
The Department of Veterans Affairs has just published "Whole Health System Approach to Long Covid," a holistic guidebook for the treatment of veterans suffering with long Covid. It's estimated that 2% of the U.S. population will develop long Covid, which equates to 24,000 to 42,000 veterans.
The VA was the first to realize that recovering from Covid didn't mean it was gone, that a long version was emerging, bringing with it extended illnesses. They opened 20 long Covid programs and dug into research where they looked at those who still had vascular and heart disease a year after the original Covid.
The program is a multipronged whole-health approach, with an individual plan at the heart of each patient's treatment wherein medical staff can assess and manage the symptoms and direct treatment as the patient needs.
In the guidebook there are guides for each facet, from signs and symptoms to treatment recommendations (tinyurl.com/3r8xvthf). There is also an assessment with 31 questions.
To read more about the VA's approach, check their Covid page at tinyurl.com/4kyrhv6y. A factsheet can be found at tinyurl.com/bdfm8ha2.
In addition, the government has the National Research Action Plan on Long COVID (www.covid.gov/longcovid). Scroll through the 85-page document to see what the government is doing and click on the study links to see what researchers are doing and have discovered.
You'll see that when it comes to an actual definition, the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and the VA have differing opinions about just what constitutes long Covid. To make matters more complicated, not everyone calls it by the same name. Mostly it's patients, some researchers and Wikipedia that call it "long Covid." NIH, for example, calls it "Post-acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection."
Remember: It's not over yet. Keep up the hand-washing. Ignore the 20-second rule and scrub for a full minute or more.
(c) 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.