Why doesn’t the NHS do joined-up thinking? 

Clinical experts have identified common symptoms of long Covid  (breathlessness, fatigue, joint pain dizziness etc). After reading increasing articles listing concerns over Long-Covid, PLEASE will the Scientists and Doctors forget their dog in the manger attitudes, and learn from each other what is the best way to cope with side effects.

If you are a cancer survivor, this might sound very familiar, as many of us experienced the same problems as ‘long-covid’ after cancer Ostrich Head in Sand Proverb Cartoon Character Stock Vector - 88670235treatment.  But – surprise, surprise.  today the medical establishment are treating long-covid symptoms as brand new.  Forget the fact that we could tell them all about it, the thought of asking patients for any input re dealing with these symptoms is anathema to these head-in-the-sand ostriches.

For the first time, a conclusive list of signs indicating the long-term effects of coronavirus has been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Long Covid, although not a medical term, is the name applied so far by experts grappling with the issue of longer-term effects of coronavirus.

The latest official guidelines in Britain use two definitions: people may have “ongoing symptomatic Covid-19” if symptoms persist from four to 12 weeks, and could have “post-Covid-19 syndrome” if they do not resolve after 12 weeks.

The symptoms of long Covid are highly variable and wide-ranging – the most common 28 symptoms include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Breathlessness

  • Cough

  • Cardiovascular symptoms
  • Chest tightness

  • Chest pain

  • Palpitations

  • Generalised symptoms
  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Pain

  • Neurological symptoms
  • Cognitive impairment (‘brain fog’, loss of concentration or memory issues)

  • Headache

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Peripheral neuropathy symptoms (pins and needles and numbness)

  • Dizziness

  • Delirium (in older populations)

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhoea

  • Anorexia and reduced appetite (in older populations)

  • Musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Joint pain

  • Muscle pain

  • Psychological/psychiatric symptoms
  • Symptoms of depression

  • Symptoms of anxiety

  • Ear, nose and throat symptoms
  • Tinnitus

  • Earache

  • Sore throat

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of taste and/or smell

  • Dermatological
  • Skin rashes

When looking at symptoms among people, five weeks after they had tested positive for Covid-19, the ONS estimated that 11.5% of respondents were still experiencing fatigue, 11.4% had a cough and 10.1% had a headache.

England now has 69 clinics to address long Covid, harnessing doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to offer physical and psychological assessments and refer patients to the right treatment and rehabilitation services.

So I reckon net time fatigue or other long-term side effects from cancer drugs cause me grief, if the symptoms are listed above, I am off to the Covid hub to get them treated.