'The fatigue is just terrible' - Bristol couple suffer with long Covid for more than a year

  • Watch Victoria Davies' report.

A couple from Bristol have told ITV News that they have been struggling with long Covid for more than a year.

Jo House and Ashley Wood said they still have days where they struggle to get out of bed and have to rely on their children to look after them.

It comes as a new report reveals the number of people with long Covid may be as many as two million - which is double previous estimates. 

Jo and Ashley said that even the simplest of tasks feel impossible.

Ashley said: "On a bad day you really can't get out of bed and there were periods last year where even going downstairs and making a cup of coffee was out of the question.

Jo said: "Just walking up the stairs at home can leave me quite breathless. 

"The fatigue is just terrible, it just hits you and there's nothing you can do but lie down.

"The brain fog is really bad, the forgetfulness and the poor concentration. We've got to a point where we're kind of used to it.

"It feels tough because you want to be able to look after your children and you want to be able to work and it's really hard thinking about not knowing when we're going to get better - that's quite difficult."

Findings from the React-2 studies showed "a concerning picture of the longer-term health consequences of Covid-19", with more than one-third of people who had coronavirus reporting symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks.

The study, one of the largest of its kind, found people tend to fall into two categories: those with respiratory illness and those with fatigue-related symptoms.

Women were more likely to suffer from long Covid, the report found, while the prevalence of symptoms increased with age, with a 3.5% increase in likelihood in each decade of life.

Experts say long Covid is still poorly understood and many sufferers struggle to access the support they need. 

But Dr David Strain, who is researching the condition at the University of Exeter Medical School, says that the Government is pumping money into research.

He said: "The UK is leading Europe on the research we're doing.

"There has already been over 20 million pounds of government funds invested into research plus many other funds coming from other directions looking at underlying causes. 

"Research is very wide spread but realistically it's going to be early next year before we see some manageable or meaningful results."

There are several symptoms you can experience after a COVID-19 infection.

Common long COVID symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain or tightness

  • Problems with memory and concentration

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Heart palpitations

  • Dizziness

  • Joint pain

To help people suffering with the debilitating long-term effects of this virus, the NHS has opened more than 80 long Covid hubs across England.

Last week, the NHS published a £100 million plan to expand support, including £30 million to help GPs improve diagnosis and care for patients with long Covid.

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