By Linda Geddes in The Guardian.
Six weeks after contracting Covid-19 in April, Dr Amy Small felt well enough to attempt a walk around Holyrood park in Edinburgh with her young family. Her kids wanted to climb Arthur’s Seat – the craggy hill at its centre. Thinking it would be OK if she walked slowly, Small agreed. “It put me in bed for several days afterwards,” she said.
In June, she returned to work as a GP, for a single half day: “It floored me completely for 10 days and took two months to get back to where I was prior to that,” she said. “I couldn’t speak one day due to the fatigue and struggled to stay hydrated as I didn’t have the energy to eat or drink.”
Before Covid, Small ran 5km at least three times a week. Now, even opening her eyes is a strain some days.
Based on current estimates, about 10% of Covid-19 patients develop lasting symptoms, one of the most common being fatigue. The underlying mechanism is still unclear, but possible explanations include reduced oxygen supply to tissues caused by heart or lung damage, or muscle weakness from prolonged bed rest.
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