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Helping patients with long COVID

Tim Kaine is wearing a suit and tie and smiling directly at the camera during a zoom meeting from the Senator’s office. An empty wooden desk sits empty behind him.
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Senator Tim Kaine is one of the millions of Americans who suffers from lingering COVID-19 symptoms.

According to the CDC 30% of Virginians who reported having COVID say they experienced long term symptoms, commonly referred to as long COVID. What’s being done to help those patients who are struggling from sometimes debilitating symptoms.


ADRIENNE McGIBBON: Senator Tim Kaine is one of the millions of Americans who've gotten COVID. He's also part of a smaller group who suffers from lingering symptoms.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): I have a very weird symptom that's never gone away which is a nerve tingling thing. I describe it as if all my nerves were just dipped in an Alka-Seltzer. There's just a fizzing and buzzing as I'm talking to you today, I can feel it everywhere in my body.

ADRIENNE McGIBBON: Senator Kaine says he's dealt with these symptoms for three years. He worries, as the pandemic turns endemic, those who are suffering will be forgotten.

SEN. TIM KAINE: My concern is that maybe people will move on and stop thinking about those who really are dealing with long COVID in ways much more serious than me.

[SEN. TIM KAINE SPEAKING IN SENATE CHAMBER, March 15, 2023] This is a topic of importance to millions of Americans who deal with long COVID every day.

ADRIENNE McGIBBON: This week, the Senator reintroduced legislation that would help fund research into the causes and treatment of long COVID. As Congress considers future funding, care providers in Virginia are still helping patients.

LESLIE MENTO (Sheltering Arms Institute): With the therapies that we provide, we're helping to get patients back to performing their daily tasks.

ADRIENNE McGIBBON: Physical therapist, Leslie Mento says some clients struggle to perform everyday tasks. He helps rebuild their strength and retrain their muscles but worries about those not getting help.

LESLIE MENTO: There are many people that are having lingering symptoms of long COVID that I think are underdiagnosed.


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