LONDON (Reuters) – Persistent illness after infection with COVID-19, sometimes referred to as “long-term COVID”, may not be one syndrome, but possibly up to four, causing a roller coaster ride of symptoms affecting all parts of the body and Mind concern, doctors said Thursday.
In an initial report on long-term COVID-19, the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) said a common issue in ongoing COVID patients – some of whom have been sick for seven months or more – is that symptoms are in a physiological state Area, like the heart or lungs, only to wear off and then reappear in another area.
“This review underscores the adverse physical and psychological impact COVID is having on many people’s lives,” said Dr. Elaine Maxwell, who directed the report.
Many thousands of people worldwide have networked on social media platforms and online forums to share their experiences with persistent COVID-19 symptoms. Some call themselves “long distance riders” while others have called their condition “long distance riders”.
According to the UK-based patient group LongCovidSOS, data from a symptom tracker app developed by King’s College, London shows that 10% of COVID-19 patients may remain unwell after three weeks and up to 5% may remain ill for months.
Maxwell, who featured the results of the “Living With COVID” report in an online media briefing, said health services are already struggling to “cope with these new and fluctuating patterns of symptoms and problems.”
She and her co-authors urged patients and doctors to log and track symptoms so that health researchers can learn more about the condition and get relief from it as soon as possible.
“Despite the uncertainties, people need help now,” she said. “We need to collect more data.”
For this first report, Maxwell’s team held a focus group with 14 members of a Facebook group called Long COVID.
Their statements suggest that persistent COVID can be cyclical, Maxwell said. Symptoms vary in severity and move around the body, including the airways, brain, cardiovascular system and heart, kidneys, intestines, liver, and skin.
“There are powerful stories out there that people of all ages and backgrounds have persistent COVID symptoms,” the report said.
An urgent priority, Maxwell said, is to provide a work diagnosis that is recognized by health services, employers, and government agencies to help assist patients.
“While this is a new disease and we are learning more about its effects … services need to be better equipped to support people with ongoing COVID as recent evidence shows that there is significant psychological and social impact that will have long-term consequences “, It says in the report.
Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Mark Heinrich
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