The lingering side effects of COVID-19

A doctor and nurse talk in a hallway.
Dr. Mark Wylam confers with nurse Lauren Smith about the treatment of a COVID-19 patient inside a medical ICU at St. Mary's Hospital at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2020

Thousands of people across the U.S. have reported a range of symptoms months after recovering from COVID-19. Having recuperated from the initial infection, patients have experienced persistent joint pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog and headaches

The lasting side effects, known as long-COVID, have resulted in life-changing chronic conditions that have left many to struggle physically, mentally, and, in some cases, financially

For many long-COVID patients, an accurate diagnosis can be a difficult task and getting access to quality care is often another hurdle in the process to get treated. This is especially true among people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by high levels of infection and low levels of vaccinations due to lack of access. 

Guest host Catharine Richert spoke with an infectious disease researcher and the leader of a COVID-19 rehabilitation program about what we know so far about the disease’s long-term effects and what can be done to extend health care access to the most vulnerable. 


  • Dr. Hana Akselrod is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

  • Dr. Greg Van is a preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine specialist who leads the Covid Activities Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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