Metro hospital creates COVID-19 recovery unit to help people with long-term symptoms

ATLANTA — A metro Atlanta hospital has a new clinic to help people who had coronavirus who still have long term symptoms. They are called long haulers.

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital has started the COVID-19 Recovery Clinic. Since it started in November, the clinic has already had 400 referrals.

Tracey Kennedy got coronavirus in June. She told Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge that she still has a loss of smell, a loss of taste and a lingering cough.

She also says a few times a week the one thing she does smell is smoke even though nothing is burning.

“I thought something was burning. I looked around the house. Was there a candle on? Something,” Kennedy said.

[LINK: Where to find the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia]

Dr. Jermaine Jackson, the Medical Director of the Piedmont Covid Recovery Center, said there’s data to suggest about two thirds of coronavirus patients can have persistent symptoms after they initially recover from the virus.

He said the clinic is there to help those long-haulers with different healthcare specialists working together to try and figure what is wrong and what can help.

“Things like smell training can help with that over time. Smelly things that are common, peppermint, roses, eucalyptus. Things of that nature. Trying to retrain your senses to get the senses back,” the doctor explained.

RELATED STORIES

Jackson said they have partnered with experts in cardiology, neurology, psychology as well as physical therapy and physical medicine rehabilitation.

“As we like to explain, we’re sort of building a plane as we fly. We’re learning more and more each day,” Jackson said.

Kennedy urges people to take safety precautions including wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]