Long covid or, as it is sometimes called post covid syndrome is becoming widely reported by GPs and fatigue services in the UK and USA.
After the initial acute respiratory infection has ended many are left with debilitating symptoms of fatigue, deep unrelenting tiredness, muscle pain and brain fog.
My clinic has been flooded with questions and inquiries about what the illness is, its prognosis and what the solutions are.
The video below explores more about the current research and understanding of the illness, along with a list of common symptoms, and how familiar this is to earlier epidemics, such as the 1918 Spanish flu and Ebola and SARS epidemics in recent years. After those epidemics, there was a similar chronic set of symptoms that caused issues in the longer term for many of those who got over the initial covid infection.
Both doctors and specialist fatigue services are worried about how they will cope with the increasing number of patients reporting long covid. The government has begun to take action and provide information and budgeting for the issues and there is a drive for research into new approaches for the illness.
One such approach that is of interest is the Lightning Process. It has been identified from research as having a beneficial effect on outcomes for those with fatigue and pain issues, the central symptoms of this illness (see the Lightning Process systematic review). The Lightning Process research group are currently exploring how it might improve outcomes for those with long covid.