What is Long Covid?

You may have heard the phrase Long Covid in the news recently; but what exactly is it? The article gives an introduction to Long Covid and how you can get support.

Covid 19

Covid 19 is the name of the disease caused by a new form of the Corona Virus. It can affect people in a variety of ways, the most common symptoms being a fever, persistent cough and a loss or change of smell. Most people only experience mild symptoms and recover quickly.

Unfortunately, however, some people experience more severe symptoms. These people may need to go to hospital or even spend some time on a ventilator to support their breathing.

Long Covid

There is increasing evidence that a minority of people who contact Covid 19 continue to experience symptoms some weeks later, this is termed Long Covid. People describe a range of symptom, including:

  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • A loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches / joint pain
  • Trouble concentrating

This is a new condition and so new research and guidelines are emerging all the time.

Recovery After a Hospital Stay

If you have spent a long time in hospital, particularly if you have been on a ventilator, you will notice your body has become “de-conditioned”. This has a number of effects, including your muscles feeling weaker and a general loss of fitness in your heart and lungs, making you feel more tired and breathless. For some advice on managing Breathlessness, click here.

It is also common to experience some psychological issues following a stay in intensive care. People often feel more anxious or describe a “brain fog”, struggling to concentrate.

It can take weeks or even months to recover from a long hospital stay so it is important to be patient with yourself. If you are struggling with activities of daily living, such as washing and dressing, it is important to ask for help. An Occupational Therapist can support you with this; usually your GP can refer you to this service. You may feel that you need more support from family or friends than previously. Again, it is important that you get the help you need, so your family and friends or you can speak with your local Care Connect or Care Direct service to see what additional support is available.

This link contains lots of information on recovering from Covid 19 and where you can go for help. 

In our next blog post we’ll look at ways to manage some of the symptoms associated with Covid 19 recovery.

If you are experiencing symptoms of long covid and would like to see if Physiotherapy can help improve your recovery, get in touch today for a no-obligation chat about your needs.

All information contained in this post is general; we encourage you to seek individualised assessment and treatment from a relevant healthcare professional. We endeavour to regularly review our posts to make sure all information is in accordance with recent guidance and research

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