Long Covid: Two Midlands women living with life-changing coronavirus symptoms

Two women from the Midlands say Covid-19 has had a life-changing impact on them.

A woman from Birmingham says she's still unable to walk after catching Covid-19 in March.

Claire Hastie from Kings Heath Birmingham is one of thousands of people who say they have 'Long Covid' - symptoms that persist for weeks or months after they first became infected.

The active mother-of-three, who was used to cycling 13 miles to work every day, says she's still unable to walk after catching coronavirus in March.

Julie Allsebrook used to work for Rolls Royce in Derby but after contracting Covid-19 in May she took redundancy.

Four months later she says she's experiencing a number of ongoing symptoms including chronic fatigue, migraines and anxiety.

Neither Julie or Claire were hospitalised with the infection, but are among thousands of people who say they have Long Covid.

A Long Covid Support Group on Facebook has over 26 thousand members.

Most people recover from the virus within 2 weeks but figures from the covid Symptom app found that 15 per cent showed symptoms for up to 4 weeks, 5 per cent up to 8 weeks and 2 per cent up to 12 weeks. 

New guidelines are being prepared by NICE for GPs to support people with Long Covid and 10 million pounds is being invested into Long Covid clinics in England.

Professor Chris Brightling is the lead researcher on a study by the University of Leicester to investigate the impact of Long Covid on people who were hospitalised.

He says it's too early to say what the impact is but they should know more by the end of the year.

Claire says people need to be made aware that Long Covid can affect anyone.

A report out today by the National Institute of Health Research has found that Long Covid symptoms can be split into 4 different ways:

  • Some people struggle as they recover from Intensive care treatment or long stays in hospital, with loss of muscle strength.

  • Some have had lasting damage to their organs, including their heart, lungs and kidneys.

  • Others have post-viral fatigue, with aching muscles and trouble concentrating.

  • And researchers found a fourth group of people who have fluctuating symptoms - perhaps suffering from headaches, and when they overcome those, could experience heart problems.

The report author Dr Elaine Maxwell says we don't know how many people had Covid-19 infections in Spring because people in the community were not being tested so it's hard to estimate how many people have Long Covid.

She says we do know that Long Covid is affecting young, healthy people not the people who are being told are at risk of dying from Covid-19. 

Read more: