Using data and testimonials from people experiencing Long-Covid, a new report from the British National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) suggests that Long-Covid may not be a syndrome, but may have up to four different syndromes:
- permanent organ damage
- Post-Intensive Syndrome
- post-viral fatigue syndrome
- persistent Covid-19 symptoms
It is possible for people to have at least two of these syndromes at the same time, the report said. In addition, this suggests that Long-Covid can be cyclical, with symptoms fluctuating in severity and moving around the body and having unpredictable effects on the lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, skin, muscles, ligaments or gastrointestinal system to have.
Tens of thousands of people around the world have already joined online forums on social media to share their experiences with Long-Covid. One of the largest groups on Facebook already has over 20,000 members. For part of this new review, the NIHR team held a focus group of 14 members from the Long COVID Facebook group, which included both post-hospital and non-hospital patients, and discussed their experiences.
“I thought recovery would be a lot easier than the nightmare I’d already experienced, unless it was the start of another nightmare – ‘Long Covid’. Although I consider this silent, it is quite debilitating with symptoms of severe fatigue, recurrent sore throats and brain fog, “said Pretty Ngwenya, who first fell ill in April 2020, on a testimonial for the report.
Lee David Bowen, believed to have caught Covid-19 in February, added, “I currently feel I’m in a ‘Covid’ cycle of symptoms (fever, cough and metallic taste), extreme fatigue and Brain fog to live days of normalcy. Slowly, after almost six months, I am slowly starting to see more “normal” days, but as soon as I feel better, the cycle starts again. ”
It is not known how many people have long-lasting health problems after recovering from Covid-19, although other research suggests that it is likely to be a significant number of people.
A current preliminary study 65 surveyed Covid-19 patients from South Korea recovered and found that 91.1 percent of them had at least one persistent side effect, mostly fatigue, followed by poor concentration or so-called “brain fog”. Another Recent study surveyed 120 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in France how they felt over 100 days after their first admission, and concluded that many experienced fatigue (55 percent), difficulty breathing (42 percent) and memory loss (34 percent) suffered. Poor concentration (28 percent) and sleep disorders (30 percent).
The new NIHR review argues that its results could help explain why many people who have persistent symptoms of Covid-19 after their first attack of illness are struggling to be properly identified and treated by health services.
“This review highlights the harmful physical and psychological effects of COVID on the lives of many people and how health services have at times struggled to deal with these new and fluctuating patterns of symptoms and problems,” said Dr. Elaine Maxwell, author and content director for the NIHR Center for Engagement and Dissemination, said in a statement.
“Our goal is that health services and staff use this review to better understand patients’ experiences and give them access to the treatment, care and support they need.”
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