Large numbers of people report suffering from prolonged, debilitating and sometimes serious symptoms following infection with suspected or confirmed Covid-19.

While attention has focused on the critical cases, and most people with the virus have a mild illness for a week or two, there is a sizable third group comprising people of all ages, many of whom were previously healthy and active.

It is estimated that up to 10% of people with the virus take at least 3 weeks to recover, with 250,000 people in the UK alone thought to experience symptoms for 30 days or more 1.

Despite multiple trips to A&E, most of these people were not admitted to hospital, nor were they eligible for testing when they fell ill, so they have remained at home, unrecorded in official statistics and largely invisible. Some are taking longer to recover than people who were in-patients, even those who were in intensive care.

Many have been too ill to work for months, or have experienced significant relapses in their symptoms when they have tried to do too much before recovering sufficiently.

Large numbers have turned to support groups on social media and are relieved to find they are not alone in experiencing symptoms of a diversity and duration that don’t align with official guidance.
 

1. Kings College London/ZOE Covid Symptom Study