The Covid long haul: why are some patients not getting better?

The Guardian’s senior international correspondent, Luke Harding, was struck down with symptoms in March that were being increasingly reported throughout the country. He had a shortness of breath and chest pains, and although he was unable to get a test he was certain it was Covid-19. Five months later, he tells Mythili Rao, he is still suffering.

It’s a growing issue. Hundreds of people are forming online communities to discuss myriad long-term symptoms, from headaches and digestion issues to nerve damage and searing lung pain. Paul Garner, a professor from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine describes his own long-haul Covid-19 experience and how a blog post for the British Medical Journal led dozens of people to approach him. One of them was Iulia Hammond, a junior doctor still not back at work five months after first developing Covid-19 symptoms.

Iulia Hammond at home in south Manchester where she’s been confined with symptoms of Covid-19 after contracting the disease in mid-March

Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian


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