Do you have Covid? Post-Covid syndrome can develop after an acute infection warns the NHS

Nick Knowles reveals he kept his long covid 'a secret'

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This is distinct from ongoing symptomatic Covid, which is where your symptoms continue for more than four weeks. The NHS notes “long Covid” is an informal term that is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after an acute infection of Covid, and can refer to post-Covid syndrome or ongoing symptomatic Covid.

Research into long Covid is ongoing, but there are some symptoms which seem to be prevalent in those with the condition.

According to the NHS these include:

  • Breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Cognitive impairment (‘brain fog’, loss of concentration or memory issues)
  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Pins and needles or numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Delirium (in older people)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anorexia and reduced appetite (in older people)
  • Weight loss
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Symptoms of anxiety
  • Tinnitus
  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • Skin rashes.

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The Mayo Clinic notes: “Although COVID-19 is seen as a disease that primarily affects the lungs, it can also damage many other organs, including the heart, kidneys and the brain.

“Organ damage may lead to health complications that linger after COVID-19 illness.

“In some people, lasting health effects may include long-term breathing problems, heart complications, chronic kidney impairment, stroke and Guillain-Barre syndrome — a condition that causes temporary paralysis.”

Some adults and children experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome after they have had COVID-19. In this condition, some organs and tissues become severely inflamed.

The NHS says for some people, symptoms can persist for longer than 12 weeks and may change over time and new symptoms may develop.

The health body adds: “The recovery time is different for everyone. The length of your recovery is not necessarily related to the severity of your initial illness or whether you were in hospital.

“If new or ongoing symptoms do occur and they are causing you concern, you should always seek medical advice and support.”

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) notes the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that between three and 12 percent of people who catch Covid will still have symptoms 12 weeks after their initial infection. This was based on data provided by 20,000 people in the Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS) between 26 April and 1 August 2021.

According to the ONS, the most common symptoms experienced by people with long Covid are fatigue, loss of smell, shortness of breath, followed by difficulty concentrating.

The BHF says you should call 999 if you or someone else experiences:

  • Chest pain that is sudden or severe and doesn’t go away
  • Sudden chest pain that is accompanied by vomiting, nausea, sweating, or shortness of breath
  • Sudden chest pain that is accompanied by a loss of consciousness.

The charity explains there is no one single test to diagnose long Covid, as it is a condition that is not fully understood yet.

It suggests: “Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing lasting long Covid symptoms.

“They may refer you for tests to help understand how long Covid is affecting you and how it can be treated.

“Or it may even be that there is another cause for your symptoms.”

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