New resources for Manitobans experiencing Long COVID or post COVID-19 conditions
Manitobans experiencing lingering symptoms consistent with post-COVID-19 conditions or Long COVID are being provided with a one-stop access to information, self-help tools and resources that will assist them in overcoming their illness and resuming their normal activities.
“Many Manitobans are feeling the effects of COVID long after they have had the disease, and this can have a negative impact in their lives beyond just feeling sick,” said Dr. Eberhard Renner, Shared Health’s provincial medical specialty lead for medicine. “Making it easier for these individuals to connect with the supports they need to address their symptoms will allow them to better manage their illness and, hopefully, recover more quickly.”
New webpages were launched Wednesday that provide patients with helpful information, advice and resources to address their symptoms. The pages – located on the Shared Health website – provide Manitobans with access to self-management tools that can help people with Long COVID manage and overcome their symptoms.
A working group that included a range of experts across several health disciplines looked at similar initiatives in other provinces to help guide the creation of the new self-management tool. The goal of their work is to make it easier for patients of all ages – or their family or caregivers – to get the help they need for post-COVID-19 health concerns, regardless of where they live in the province.
“We have included resources to help manage the most common symptoms including fatigue and weakness, shortness of breath, brain fog and mental health conditions, as well as resources created specifically for children and teens,” said Dr. Cornelia van Ineveld, a geriatrician and co-lead of the provincial Long COVID working group. “There are also links to virtual courses on topics like mindfulness, nutrition and physical activity.”
In Manitoba, patients with post-COVID-19 conditions or Long COVID are typically managed by a primary care provider – normally their family doctor or a nurse practitioner – who will refer their patients to specialists when symptoms are more serious.
The vast array of symptoms and the similarly numerous types of specialists required to treat them, combined with the fact there are people with post-COVID-19 conditions in all areas of the province, makes the new online resource the best way to ensure a suitable approach to recovery is available to all Manitobans.
“We are thrilled we can offer this one-stop shop for Manitobans dealing with COVID-related symptoms that seemingly won’t go away,” said Carrie Fruehm, director of collaborative practice with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and co-lead of the provincial Long COVID working group. “Visitors to the site will be able to access information and tools to better understand the lingering symptoms they are experiencing and how to best manage them, with an emphasis on brain health, mental health and self-care.”
Anyone who has concerns about their recovery or has persistent or stronger symptoms should talk to their health-care provider about other resources and specialized services in the community that are available by referral. Those experiencing severe symptoms – including difficulty breathing, intense chest pain, difficulty staying awake, confusion or fainting – should call 911 immediately.