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All Posts in Category: COVID-19

Long Covid



What is it?


Much like Chick V, the virus which causes COVID 19, SARS -CoV-2- can leave longer lasting symptoms in about 10% of people. We say these “post acute” Covid symptoms are symptoms going on longer than three weeks after the start of symptoms. The symptoms can last for months, up to 12 weeks. (Then known as “Chronic Covid” ) People suffering with Long Covid are not necessarily still infectious.


Common symptoms include Fatigue, breathlessness, cough, low grade fever, muscle pain and headaches as well as depression. These can come and go.


We are not entirely sure what causes the prolonged symptoms but it is likely to be multifactorial. Long lasting symptoms after an infection are not unique to COVID 19.. ,Many viruses can cause chronic fatigue, for example and many can cause a post infectious  Immune or inflammatory response which can affect many organs including the lungs, brain, muscles/joints or nerves. There is also likely to be  a Psychological component also.


What should you do if you have ongoing symptoms? 


See your doctor for an examination and if appropriate some baseline Investigations to rule out secondary causes for your symptoms/complications of COVID 19. For example your doctor may need to rule out: Anaemia, secondary pneumonia/chest infections requiring antibiotics.; inflammation of the heart or also even heart failure in severe cases. If you were hospitalized and are breathless they may also want to rule out a clot in the lung for example.


Once these have been excluded, rest, limitation of caffeine, monitoring of oxygen levels where appropriate, and possibly graded exercise therapy, and psychological support can help people feel better.


For fatigue, once your doctor has said it is ok, then 4-6 weeks of self paced light exercise such as walking can help.


When is it generally safe to return to exercise?


If you were reasonably active before COVID 19, then after mild illness – try one one week of stretching before attempting light cardiovascular exercise such as walking. Increase your rest periods if you get tired in between.


If anyone has been hospitalized, or required oxygen they should see their one doctor for an individualized assessment.


Patients who had heart  involvement need a cardiac assessment with Blood pressure, pulse, ECG pulse oximetry and review with doctor before resuming exercise.


If you are allowed to exercise, then usually light graded exercises, over 4-6 weeks helps people to recover from the fatigue, brain fog and depression that can follow COVID 19.


Psychological Support can help especially if you are suffering with depression, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job or income.


Peer-peer support groups have been known to be helpful. Perhaps consider starting one on Facebook?


Fever usually responds to paracetamol, although as I mentioned above see doctor to r/o secondary infection.

The good news is that if you are kind to yourself, and allow rest and positive thoughts, most people recover slowly with the above measures…hopefully by 12 weeks or so!

Here are some helpful links:

How to conserve your energy – RCOT

Long Covid Support Group | Facebook






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Recovering from Covid-19 at home?

Covid Positive at Home?

What should be in your Covid 19 “Recover at Home” Kit?


So you’ve tested positive and been medically assessed, and since you have no underlying conditions, and are not short of breath, you are allowed to recover in the comfort of your own home….


Most of you will be just fine, with the usual Flu like symptoms. Some people, however may experience more serious complications.


So what should you be looking out for?


Apart from the usual cough, fever and body aches, which would normally respond to Fluids, rest and Paracetamol/Acetomenophen (Brand names Panadol, Tylenol), there are a few complications you need to be aware of, because if they develop, it may mean you need to be in hospital after all.


  1. Shortness of breath that is bad enough that is stops you from doing what you would normally do as part of your daily activities. Ok, you won’t be able to go for your normal 3 mile morning run, but you should not be so short of breath that you can’t climb your stairs or get yourself dressed…If this happens, please call me. if you have a pulse oximeter, (a little device you put on your finger) you can even measure your oxygen saturation levels. If the oxygen saturation drops below 96% on room air, that’s a sign that you need extra medical evaluation and possibly support with oxygen in a hospital. If you have COVID -19 and you need to rent one, we do have some available with a useful leaflet on his to use them. The shortness of breath tends to begin to get bad on day 5, but everyone is different.


  1. Chest Pain– This can happen because of inflammation of the heart and lungs. this inflammation is actually because of your immune response and it can cause a heart attack, or heart failure. If it is going to happen, it is likely to be around day 10, although remember this is not set in stone. If you are experiencing chest pain please call me or if severe call 811. It could also be because of a clot.


  1. Focal weakness: If you suddenly find your face is drooping on one side, or you have slurred speech or weakness of a limb it could be a sign of a stroke or another neurological complication and you need to seek urgent medical help.


  1. New onset of confusion: This can be a sign of many complications and warrants urgent assessment.


5.Strange rashes, conjunctivitis or diarrhea in children. The recent evidence shows that thankfully most children have mild disease and very few end up in hospital. Very very few have died and the ones that have, have had underlying conditions. However if your child has any of the above symptoms you need to contact your pediatrician. (But then you should be in close contact with them anyway!)


If anyone has an underlying condition like Diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease or an autoimmune problem then please contact me for more specific advice!


So in short have to hand: 


  1. Paracetamol/Acetomenophen
  2. Fluids
  3. Salt water gargles
  4. Thermometer (I am always amazed at how few people have one of these)
  5. Possibly (on discussion with a doctor) a pulse oximeter.
  6. Emergency Contact numbers.

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