DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The number of COVID hospitalizations across the state has seen a stabilization in recent weeks but some medical professionals are now worried about the increase of convalesced patients.

According to Dr. Narby, convalesced patients are people who are experiencing long-term COVID, aren’t in danger of spreading the virus but are still needing hospital-level care. He said these patients are not positive for the virus but still are experiencing COVID complications.

“Whether that is extreme weakness and just reconditioning from being sick for so long or maybe they are needing oxygen or oxygen support,” Dr. Narby said. “Sometimes those people will need additional care
after their acute illness whether that is physical therapy or rehabilitation.”

Narby said Southeast Alabama is seeing a lot of patients with long-term COVID and this is only adding more of a strain on hospital workers and resources. He said the severity varies from person to person and complications with long-term COVID can prolong hospital stays.

“That only illustrates the point that getting COVID as an illness is not a trivial thing and there are many many risks to getting COVID,” Narby said.

Dr. Narby said the COVID-19 virus is still a big mystery it could affect one person pretty severely and leave another person perfectly fine. This is why he said the best protection remains wearing a mask and getting the vaccine.

Narby wants to encourage those who aren’t vaccinated to get their shot he says this is the only way to protect yourself and the community.

“We simply don’t know who is going to experience a very serious infection with complications and a long convalesced, who may pass away,” Dr. Narby said. “Vaccination is much safer a much safer way to gaining immunity to COVID than actually contracting the disease.”