Now recognised as an official after-effect from an encounter with the notorious coronavirus, the National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) have provided guidelines on how medical staff can manage the lingering symptoms.
NICE defined long COVID-19 to “continue for more than 12 weeks [following a coronavirus infection] and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis”.
The condition is associated with a “highly variable and wide ranging” list of signs and symptoms, including breathlessness and depression.
Generalised symptoms include: fatigue, fever and pain; neurological symptoms include “brain fog”.
What’s brain fog?
Brain fog is considered a type of cognitive impairment whereby there’s a loss of concentration and/or memory issues.
Other neurological symptoms include:
- Sleep disturbance
- Peripheral neuropathy symptoms (pins and needles and numbness)
- Delirium (in older populations)
There have been gastrointestinal symptoms reported too, such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, anorexia and reduce appetite.
NICE added musculoskeletal, psychological and dermatological symptoms, which are:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Symptoms of depression
- Symptoms of anxiety
- Skin rashes
Moreover, there are ear, nose and throat symptoms, which include: tinnitus, earache, sore throat, and dizziness.
There are 69 specialist clinics opened to help people suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus, confirmed NHS England.
NHS England provided £10million of funding for the network of clinics, which take referrals from GPs.
Ten sites are operational in London, seven in the East of England, eight in the Midlands, South East and South West respectively.
There are nine in the North West and a further 18 across the North East and Yorkshire.
A further 12 sites are set to launch in the East Midlands, Lancashire, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Bringing expert clinicians together in these clinics will deliver an integrated approach to support patients access vital rehabilitation.”
Sir Stevens added that the clinics enable “a greater understanding of long COVID and its debilitating symptoms”.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated one in five coronavirus patients exhibit symptoms “for a period of five weeks or longer”.
It added that one in 10 COVID-19 positive patients display symptoms “for a period of 12 weeks or longer”.
On Thursday, January 7, the government reported 52,618 people tested positive for coronavirus in one day.
Daily deaths (within 28 days of positive COVID test) crept up to 1,162 in the same time period.
To address these worrisome figures, the UK is under strict lockdowns, with England not knowing when they will emerge from the latest restrictions.
So far, the estimated “R” rate is between 1.1 to 1.3, meaning the pandemic is growing.
However, more than 1,296,432 have been given the first dose of a coronavirus vaccination in efforts to put an end to this troubling time.