Long Covid causing “debilitating symptoms” for hundreds of people, say Sheffield health officials
Hundreds of people in Sheffield could suffer from long Covid where symptoms last several months.
Fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, cough, loss of smell and taste, sore throat, chest pain, dizziness, joint aches, stomach upset and rashes are among the prolonged symptoms.
It can also cause delirium, memory loss, anxiety and depression.
Public health officials say there could be between 300 and 600 people in Sheffield where Covid symptoms have lasted three months or more – and many people initially had a mild infection.
Eleanor Rutter, public health consultant at Sheffield Council, says in a report that three quarters of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 have ongoing symptoms – mostly breathlessness and fatigue – three months after admission.
“In Sheffield, this could translate to anywhere between 58 and 728 people dealing with debilitating, prolonged symptoms following hospitalisation since the start of the outbreak,” she said.
“However, those hospitalised with Covid represent only one to five per cent of those who have had Covid so data could underestimate the overall burden.
“Overall ten per cent of people with Covid experience symptoms lasting over three weeks – potentially over 3,000 people so far in Sheffield.
“It’s important to stress that many of the people describing this syndrome had a mild initial infection and therefore were never tested or confirmed to have had Covid-19.”
Stocksbridge councillor Fran Johnson has suffered with long Covid since catching the virus last March. She is only just starting to recover and is now very worried she could catch Covid again.
“It’s a cycle of relapse and recovery. I did get better and thought I was coming out the other side then it hit me again,” she said.
“I was exhausted and I had a really bad relapse which was almost harder to recover from than the original virus.
“I had a lot of neurological symptoms with bad memory loss, poor coordination and was barely able to have conversations. It was so bad, I was sent for an MRI scan.
“It’s also been really hard on my mental health, I’ve been forced to live a completely different pace which has caused me quite a lot of anxiety.”