Long COVID is a new condition, but those who have endured years of ME/CFS can share their common experience – and a long history of being misunderstood.
When it was becoming clear that COVID-19 was a serious issue early last year, Nina Muirhead (pictured) had a strong suspicion about what would happen next.
As a doctor who had developed ME/CFS following an attack of glandular fever four years ago, and in common with others in the scientific and ME patient community, she predicted that there would be a sub-set of people who, like her, would still be suffering months or even years after contracting the virus.
‘I wrote to Professor Whitty [England’s chief medical officer] and Sir Patrick Vallance [chief scientific officer] back in March saying there’s going to be a long COVID, and maybe there should be a health warning put out about this – maybe people should be advised of the long-term consequences, maybe we could do a study.
‘But they were so overwhelmed with fighting the big fire [acute COVID], and because ME is so misunderstood by the medical profession, they didn’t have the same end of the binoculars as I do. They didn’t see it coming in the same way.’
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