BOISE, Idaho — The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Idaho on March 13, 2020.
Since then, more than 170,000 Idahoans have been diagnosed with a confirmed or probable case, with a small percentage experiencing long-term after-effects, including fatigue, ongoing shortness of breath, headaches, and hair loss months after their infection has cleared. These people are considered "long-haulers".
While there is no medical consensus on how or why some people experience long-term effects after coming down with COVID-19, these people can receive treatment at post-COVID-19 clinics.
There are more than 80 locations nationwide, and Idaho has just one clinic in Boise off Federal Way.
Saint Alphonsus opened the clinic in September 2020. That clinic has served 465 patients, ranging in age from early-20's to mid-80's.
The medical staff consists of primary care providers, physician assistants, pulmonologists, infectious disease experts, and cardiologists.
Saint Al's doctors have learned myocarditis - heart inflammation-causing rapid or abnormal heartbeats - could be contributing to the extreme fatigue some long-haulers are experiencing.
The clinic's recurring appointments have remained steady, while the number of referrals from emergency rooms and primary care doctors has decreased.
The decrease in referrals could be for a number of reasons, including a lower number of overall cases since the clinic's opening and improved triage, according to Mark Snider, a spokesperson for Saint Alphonsus.
The Saint Alphonsus COVID-only clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Both Saint Luke's and Primary Health have no plans to open any post-COVID-19 clinics at this time.
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