Healthy woman ‘scared to sleep’ months after suffering ‘long Covid’ symptoms

Over 350,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK – and thankfully most of them have recovered.

But many of the survivors of the disease are still suffering long-term knock-on symptoms – in some cases being confined to a wheelchair.

Professor Tim Spector, who is leading the Covid Symptom Study app, said that 60,000 people have been suffering from so-called "long Covid" for more than three months.

One victim of the mysterious "long Covid" is Jeanne Jarvis-Gibson.

The Liverpool 27-year-old used to lift weights and ran almost every day before her coronavirus symptoms began in March – she hasn’t managed to run since but lately has tried yoga and walking.

Jeanne had no pre-existing conditions but at the peak of her illness required antibiotics for a chest infection, suffering breathing difficulties which have improved but still remain.

The University of Liverpool postgraduate student told the Liverpool Echo: "There were days I was scared to go to sleep because I was scared of not breathing.

"I am very tired of being tired… I want to be able to explore and do fun activities without my body hindering and slowing me down."

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"This virus does not care who you are in this world, not your age, your wealth, or status.

"I am a 27-year-old fit woman, and it hit me very hard… and these long term symptoms are still scary for me."

Professor Spector said he is "frustrated" that data from the app is not being more widely used to follow up on cases like Jeanne's.

"There's a big danger these (people) might end up being forgotten," he added.

A spokeswoman for the NHS in England said: "While experts globally continue work to understand more about the short and long-term impact of this new disease, NHS teams are rapidly expanding aftercare and support to all patients who need it, including new and strengthened rehab centres and community services providing tailored treatment in every part of the country, such as the first of its kind Seacole centre, and a new online health advice and support platform, which patients said they wanted to help them recover at home."

The long list of persistent health problems following acute coronavirus cases includes respiratory symptoms and conditions such as chronic cough, shortness of breath; lung problems including inflammation and scarring; heart issues including chest tightness, heart failure and scarring; protracted loss or change of smell and taste.

Recovering patients have also reported mental health problems including depression, anxiety and cognitive difficulties; inflammatory disorders such as muscle pain; gastrointestinal problems; continuing headaches; fatigue, weakness and sleeplessness; liver and kidney dysfunction; clotting disorders and thrombosis; problems with the lymph nodes and skin rashes.

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