As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it is clear that the patterns of recovery of patients from COVID-19 infection vary significantly. In most cases, symptoms are mild and recovery is rapid and complete. However, a proportion of patients suffer varied and persistent symptoms for several months after their initial infection has cleared. This phenomenon is known as long-COVID.
Up to 20% of patients who have had COVID-19 develop symptoms that persist for several months after their initial infection has cleared, Long-COVID. Patients of all ages may be affected, irrespective of both the severity of the initial symptoms, and pre-existing medical conditions.
The symptomatology of Long-COVID is varied, and published reports suggest several clinical symptom presentations. At The Physicians' Clinic we have seen increasing numbers of patients referred with Long-COVID. Our own experience is that patients present with multiple symptoms, which can be broadly divided into fatigue, neurological symptoms, psychiatric problems, cardiorespiratory symptoms, and gastrointestinal symptom complexes.
Given the incidence and prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the general population, it is estimated that in the UK alone, tens of thousands of patients will suffer Long-COVID. Even if an effective mass vaccination program is introduced over the next 6 months, COVID-19 will continue to carry significant morbidity and place a high burden on healthcare systems.
The cause of Long-COVID remains obscure, and currently there is no evidence-based treatment. However, current management strategies require a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to help patients manage their symptoms.
At The Physicians' Clinic, our multi-specialty clinical team is unique in private healthcare and well placed to treat patients with Long-Covid. Many of our physicians are able to draw on their front-line experience of treating COVID-19 infection in their base NHS teaching hospitals. We can provide holistic and specialist care, and rapid access to diagnostic investigations and are able to provide the time needed to support patients through their Long-COVID illness.
For enquiries and referrals, please contact The Physicians' Clinic via firstname.lastname@example.org.