Long-COVID is the first illness to be identified and named by patients — the term was first used by an Italian academic who used the hashtag on social media to ask if others were experiencing ongoing problems such as breathlessness and fatigue.6, 7
And feedback from patients, and their physicians, is continuing to shape the way it is treated.
Dr Simic says:
“Our Long-COVID clinic was created in response to patient experience and GPs and consultants telling us they were seeing an increasing number of patients with prolonged COVID-like symptoms.
“We realised it was crucial to put together a multidisciplinary team to support and guide patients. We hope that the care we deliver in this clinic will not only help individuals to live a good quality of life, but will also support the wider effort to increase our understanding of this new condition.”
Symptoms vary dramatically, and to date 55 different features of Long-COVID have been identified8. However, common characteristics are extreme fatigue, breathlessness, chest pain or tightness, impaired concentration and memory, insomnia, heart palpitations, muscle and joint pain, depression, nausea, fever, headaches and rashes9.