By Sue Green in The Sydney Morning Herald.
It would be utterly perverse to say I’m glad COVID-19 leaves some sufferers with long-term symptoms, including crippling fatigue. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But as one who has coped with that very thing along with chronic pain for more than a decade, I am thrilled that it’s at last getting serious attention from the medical profession. Pity it’s taken a global pandemic, an illness (almost) everyone believes is real, to make it happen.
“I have sympathy for people with chronic fatigue syndrome now, and I believe this disease fast-tracks you into experiencing these symptoms,” Professor Paul Garner, infectious diseases specialist at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, told the ABC.
He should know. He has COVID-19. It is, he says, his worst-ever illness, and he has had dengue fever and malaria. “You feel quite well and then suddenly in the afternoon it slaps you round the head like a cricket bat,” he said. Welcome to my world.
There are numerous reports of COVID-19 sufferers anguished at the length of their recovery, symptoms that wax and wane, hitting them like a truck just when they think they are improving. Professor Francis Williams, of King’s College, London, wrote in The Conversation that this may be the case even for some with mild symptoms. She acknowledged: “Chronic fatigue doesn’t lie within the remit of a single medical speciality, so it’s often overlooked on medical school curricula, and doctors are poorly trained in the diagnosis and management of chronic fatigue.”
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