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Affinity Health Talks About Long Covid And How To Manage The Effects

21 January 2021 Affinity Health

While symptoms of the coronavirus pass relatively quickly for most people, some have reported suffering long-term effects for weeks, and even months, after the initial illness.

Affinity Health talks about the lingering effects of long Covid and tips on managing them.

While more information comes to light of how many people are affected by long Covid, some research suggests around one in five people who test positive for Covid-19 have symptoms that last past the 14-day mark. In around one in ten people, symptoms may last three months and beyond.

During the initial phase of Covid-19, some of those most severely infected with the virus report suffering pneumonia and respiratory failure, resulting in permanent damage and scarring to the lungs. Others have reported life-changing complications such as blood clots (which can lead to deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, and stroke), heart muscle inflammation, and heart rhythm disturbances, such as atrial fibrillation.

Other symptoms of long Covid may include:
• Marked fatigue
• Low grade fever
• Breathlessness
• Changes in mood (irritability, anxiety, and depression)
• Eyesight problems
• Palpitations
• Headaches
• A cough that won't go away
• Chest tightness or pain
• Joint or muscle pain
• Memory lapses and brain fog (not being able to think straight or focus)

"The core focus of many health care providers has been on saving lives since the global pandemic started early last year. More recently, however, medical experts have also begun to recognise that some people are facing long-term consequences of the infection," says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

"There is simply no way in this point in time to predict how long it will take a person to fully recover from long Covid. As with many other viral illnesses, lasting effects are not uncommon and vary from person to person. Factors that put people most at risk for long Covid seem to be age (particularly those aged over 50), excess weight, and asthma, although long Covid can strike anyone, even those with no underlying problems.”

Hewlett continues to say that arguably, one of the most common complaints of long Covid is extreme and unwavering fatigue.

"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a complicated and challenging condition that can interfere with one's ability to engage in normal activities, including going back to work. There is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome with treatment focused on symptom relief. It's important to be patient and kind to yourself during your recovery. Be prepared that some days will be worse than others."

Affinity Health recommends the "three Ps" to conserve energy:
1. Pace yourself: Don't push yourself too hard and allow yourself time to rest
2. Plan: Schedule your days so your most tiring activities are spread out across the week
3. Prioritise: Think about what you need to do and what can be put off

If you're worried about long Covid symptoms, or if your symptoms are getting worse, not better as time goes by, contact your GP. You may be referred for physiotherapy or psychological support such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

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