From migraines to fatigue, coronavirus patients say they suffer from debilitating symptoms for months after their first infection in what has come to be known as “Long Covid”.
Claire Twomey, 33, a social worker in County Meath, Ireland, told CNBC by phone that her symptoms recurred in her first week at work, about six weeks after she first got the coronavirus.
She initially thought she had been infected with the virus again when the headache returned, followed by a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. But hospital tests found no underlying problems, she said.
Twomey said she felt “down to earth” when symptoms came back. “I was back in bed, I couldn’t read a book or watch TV for more than half an hour.”
Other “crazy, weird (and) weird” symptoms were experienced with this relapse with the disease, including gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, and rashes.
Twomey said she was “frustrated” when the disease persisted and worried about the future after being out of work for so long. “I have a six month break,” she said.
In mid-September, Twomey found that she was having fewer “bad days” but knew that she still couldn’t work the way she had before.
Twomey applied for another part-time job in social welfare but spent the eight days leading up to the interview bedridden with migraines. “I thought I had to cancel the interview.”
Fortunately, she was able to conduct the interview and got the job that she is supposed to start in a few weeks.
“A bigger public health problem”
Three healthcare facilities in the UK. Announced Monday that they were working on a formal definition of “Long Covid” and how symptoms can be identified so that the National Health Service can officially identify the disease. The “Long Covid” guidelines are expected to be published by the end of the year.
In one paper Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, warned on Monday from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change about “Long Covid” and warned so-called “Long Haulers …” could prove to be a bigger public health problem than excess deaths from Covid-19. ”
The paper also picked up new knowledge from the Covid Symptom Study, led by Spector, suggesting that around 10% of people surveyed in the UK had had “long covid” symptoms for a month, while up to 2% still had them after three months.
With nearly 4.3 million downloads of the Coronavirus Symptoms Study Study app, it is considered the largest public science project of its kind in the world. According to Johns Hopkins University, 532,779 cases of Covid-19 and 42,535 deaths have been confirmed in the UK.
Based on extrapolated data, the researchers estimated that of those affected by the first wave of the virus in the UK, 300,000 people had Covid-19 symptoms for a month, while 60,000 people would have had symptoms for three months or more.
It does not only affect people who are considered more susceptible to contracting the virus, such as: B. People over 70 years of age. The paper also cited another study in the United States in which one in five people aged 18 to 34 who had no chronic illness reported had “long-term Covid” after an initial infection.
Shortness of breath and brain fog
For Evie Connell, 23, a marketing and business student at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, prolonged illness meant she couldn’t finish a summer internship. She was also signed off from her part-time job in a supermarket.
Connell first showed coronavirus symptoms in March but said the initial phase of the illness “wasn’t that bad” as she mainly suffered from fatigue and shortness of breath.
At week 15, Connell went to her doctor and complained of chest pain all day. She was referred to a local Covid-19 rehabilitation team and fired from work. In addition to chest pain, Connell continues to experience irregular heart rates, shortness of breath, and brain fog and chronic fatigue.
She only made it through a few weeks of her digital marketing internship with a local company before realizing she no longer had the attention span to move on. Connell has returned to college for the third time since then, but worries about her ability to focus on her studies.
“I could put off, but this will put me back another year of college, which I don’t want to do,” she told CNBC on the phone.
Connell said it was “pretty hard to come to terms with” how badly the virus had gotten her, as she’d hit the gym about four times a week only to get breathless after going four flights of stairs.
“Kindness and Understanding”
Paul Garner, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, documented his own six-month battle with “long Covid” in the British journal the BMJ.
Garner told CNBC that he was also struggling with fatigue and slower exercise, forcing him to stop teaching. Aside from two weeks when he initially got the virus, he continued to work, but admitted that he “probably started back a little early”.
“I think the symptoms are scary, unusual, and often, people … can’t quite believe it themselves and then doubt that something is mentally wrong with them,” he said.
Antibody tests have been reported to be performed on “Long Covid” patients negative resultsThis makes it difficult for long-distance drivers to prove their persistent illness.
Garner said this is akin to the difficulty people with chronic fatigue syndrome have long had when misdiagnosed with psychosomatic illnesses. “People really need some kindness and understanding,” he added.
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