'I never thought I would become as ill as I did' warns Long COVID sufferer.
Date published: 17 February 2021
Long COVID can cause debilitating illness
An estimated 1 in every 20 people diagnosed with COVID-19 experience the often debilitating effects of long-term symptoms experienced after contracting COVID-19 – commonly known as Long COVID.
Someone is said to have Long COVID (or Post-COVID Syndrome), when symptoms continue for more than 12 weeks after a COVID-19 infection and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.
Sufferers commonly experience generalised pain, fatigue, persisting high temperature and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety or depression - but many other symptoms have also been reported.
Mark Griffiths, 47, first contracted COVID-19 in March but soon realised something wasn’t right: “Initially I just thought I had a cold, then maybe flu but as my symptoms got worse, I had a test and found out I had COVID-19.
“I didn’t develop a cough until around 6 weeks later – and at this point I knew something was wrong.
“I then developed a whole range of symptoms such as fatigue, constant headaches, concentration and short-term memory problems, joint and muscle pain and breathing difficulties.
“As time went on, I became very frustrated. I was wondering, how long I would feel like this? How long will it take until I can live normally again and go back to work?
“After a while, I started to improve slowly - week by week – before returning to work full-time in September. However, my heart still races, and I still live with ongoing fatigue and headaches.
“People need to be aware that COVID-19 poses a greater risk to your health than you may think. I was a fit and strong individual and now I have symptoms I may have to live with for a long time to come. I certainly never thought I would become as ill as I did.
“Simply being cautious and following the advice can save people going through what I went through and potentially save lives.”
Dr Andrew Furber, Regional Director for Public Health England and NHS Public Health in the North West, said: “Long COVID can cause debilitating illness and a range of symptoms which may affect people’s ability to work, go to school, or even exercise.
“People often assume that if you’re young, fit and healthy COVID-19 will be a short-lived, minor illness for a couple of weeks and then you’ll be back to normal. This isn’t always the case and may develop into something more long-term and severely impact your quality of life.
“That’s why it’s still so important to follow COVID-19 advice closely. It’s not worth the risk.”
To help COVID-19 sufferers with their recovery, NHS England launched the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ website back in July.
Dr Furber added: “We advise anyone suffering with the long-term effects of this disease to contact NHS 111 online or by phone in the first instance.
“The ‘Your COVID Recovery’ website is also a useful source of information, advice and support as you recover from COVID-19 – whether you’re experiencing physical or mental symptoms.”
Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing email@example.com , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.
Most Viewed News Stories
- 1Covid breaches across Greater Manchester include weddings and "barber shops in garden sheds"
- 2‘Deserted’ 170-year-old mill to be demolished and replaced with shops and flats
- 3Extra Coronavirus testing processing arrives in Oldham
- 4Oldham trio charged following Op Foam raids
- 5‘Bizarre complaints’ over Covid-19 grants