What is Long COVID?

The current definition for Long COVID is: The presence of signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection that is consistent with COVID-19, which continues for 12 weeks or more and is not explained by an alternative diagnosis (NICE).
The COVID-19 Infection Survey which represents those who experienced COVID-19 in the UK, estimated that 1-in-5 people will exhibit COVID symptoms for 5 weeks or longer after infection with coronavirus. And 1-in-10 will exhibit symptoms for 12 weeks or longer and may therefore experience long COVID.

Important to note: You don’t have to have had a positive COVID-19 test to have Long COVID

Symptoms of Long COVID

There are many symptoms of Long COVID but the 3 most commonly reported symptoms are:
- Cognitive impairment (brain fog)
- Fatigue
- Post-exertion malaise (immediate or delayed worsening of symptoms following any type of exertion-physical, emotional mental or cognitive symptoms)

Other symptoms include:

Managing Long COVID

Daily Activities/Pacing: Modify daily activities to help find the balance between rest and action and subsequently help reduce symptoms. Examples include: sitting whilst showering, dressing, eating. Using Assistive technology in your house or workplace could also help conserve energy and make performing daily tasks easier.
Heart rate monitoring: Wearing a heart rate monitor to help pace more accurately. Advice suggests using resting heart rate as a benchmark and aim to keep within 15 beats per minute of your resting heart rate.
Rehabilitation: ‘Your COVID Recovery’ is an NHS website which provides free Self-Management for people recovering from COVID-19.
Speak to your GP: Try and write down key points to help you explain your experience. ‘Long COVID Support’ provides a letter template to give to your GP to help get your symptoms across and get the help you need.
Speak to Occupational Health: Liaising with Occupational Health can help make your workplace aware of your condition and put in place any arrangements needed.
Speak with us: if there is anything that is still bothering you from long covid, or that has happened in the meanwhile, chat to us or complete an online referral form

Important to note: post exertion malaise should be considered before any exercise is considered

Check these websites for more information:

Your Covid recovery

Long Covid support network

Long Covid physio

Post Covid-19 Recovery: information by CNWL NHS on how to support your physical and mental health
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