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COVID-19 patients are experiencing long-term effects from the virus

Published on 13/08/20 at 11:42am
Photo by Mohsen Atayi

Almost a third of doctors have treated patients for long-term symptoms caused by coronavirus, according to a new study.

The British Medical Association (BMA) conducted a survey of 4,000 doctors and found that 31% of those in England and Wales had seen patients suffering from chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, reduced exercise capacity and memory loss, which they believed coronavirus had caused. A further 21% of 1,030 doctors who had since recovered from the virus reported chronic fatigue, while 11% said they had no concentration difficulties.

26% of doctors who had participated in the study believed they had COVID-19.

Dr David Strain, the BMA’s medical academic staff committee co-chair, said: “The increasing evidence that Covid-19 patients can suffer long-lasting symptoms, irrespective of the severity of the initial infection, requires detailed study to understand what optimum treatment would be, and, preferably, how to prevent it occurring in the first place.

“Until this is known, it is imperative that the Government and the NHS does more to protect the medical community from infection. We cannot afford more failures of quality and supply in personal protective equipment. Risk assessments should be available to all working in the NHS, and appropriate steps should be put in place to mitigate the risk of catching the virus, even in those that have a low risk of a bad outcome from the initial infection.”

Conor Kavanagh

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