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Panel discusses care for patients with persistent symptoms after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection

PHILADELPHIA, June 11, 2021 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Annals of Internal Medicine hosted a virtual COVID-19 forum where expert panelists discussed practical clinical considerations related to patient care for those experiencing symptoms long after “recovering” from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Held on June 9, COVID-19 Forum V: Evaluation and Care of Patients with Persistent Symptoms Following Acute SARS-CoV-2 Infection, was the fifth in a series of forums hosted by ACP and Annals of Internal Medicine. Four invited experts offered their perspectives on the many clinical concerns. The panelists included:

  • Lori Newman, MD, Captain, U.S. Public Health Service, Co-Chair, Clinical Spectrum Working Group, Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 Initiative, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health. Dr. Newman discussed what we know so far about the natural history of recovery from acute COVID-19, the epidemiology of symptoms after recovery, and the NIH strategy for filling in knowledge gaps.
  • John T. Brooks, MD, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Brooks reviewed how the CDC is developing recommendations, the rationale behind them, and plans for updating the recommendations as evidence emerges.
  • Aluko Hope, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care, Medical Director, Long COVID-19 Program, Oregon Health & Sciences University. Dr. Hope shared his experience as a clinician leader at one of the first post-acute COVID-19 clinics in New York City.
  • Deborah Cotton, MD, MPH, Deputy Editor, Annals of Internal Medicine, served as a panelist and moderated the discussion.

The full recording is available for replay here and is published in Annals of Internal Medicine along with commentary by Christine Laine, MD, MPH, ACP senior vice president and editor-in-chief, Annals of Internal Medicine.

"Infection rates and COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths are dropping in the U.S., yet life has not returned to normal for many who recovered from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection but have persisting poor health," said Dr. Laine. "Coordinated, multi-disciplinary efforts are essential both for clinical care and for research to better understand the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and effective management of these patients. Forums such as this one help to shed light on this emerging issue."

The panel also discussed how SARS-CoV-2 affects different groups differently putting emphasis on vaccines and the need to push for all groups to receive vaccines in order to stem the spread of COVID-19, especially in areas of the world which don’t have equal access.

“The focus must be on those in need, those still suffering and those who don’t have access to vaccines like we do in the U.S.,” said George Abraham, MD, MPH, FACP, President, ACP. “There is a continued staggering global burden due to the lack of global access to the vaccines patients need. The continued long-term effects of COVID can’t be the hidden toll of the pandemic.”

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Annals of Internal Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine is the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Annals is the most widely read and cited general internal medicine journal and one of the most influential peer-reviewed clinical journals in the world. Annals’ mission is to promote excellence in medicine, enable physicians and other health care professionals to be well-informed members of the medical community and society, advance standards in the conduct and reporting of medical research, and contribute to improving the health of people worldwide. New content is published every Tuesday at Annals.org. Follow Annals on Twitter and Instagram @AnnalsofIM and on Facebook.

ACP Media Contact: Andrew Hachadorian, (215) 351-2514, AHachadorian@acponline.org
Annals Media Contact: Angela Collom, (215) 351-2653, ACollom@acponline.org