Long Covid can present itself in different ways in different patients

The medical profession is still trying to establish a concrete definition of what is and is not long Covid.

Lab technicians handle suspected Covid-19 samples as they carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus.

The new virus can present itself in different ways in different patients. There are, however, common symptoms of long Covid.

Dr Katherine Hickman said: “There are so many symptoms that patients are presenting with but there are some common ones.

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“In particular fatigue, chest pains, shortness of breath and that classic brain fog as well but there are a multitude of other symptoms – very strange things.”

Medical professionals have also found it difficult to diagnose long Covid as it does not show up through regular checks.

Dr David Strain said: “One of the hallmark features of long Covid is that all the conventional medical tests are completely normal.

“In the absence of a fixed test it makes it very difficult to quantify it, let alone to start managing it.”

The Government is funding the STIMULATE-ICP programme at University College London Hospitals NHS Trust to the tune of £6.8m.

Dr Strain, who is a part of the programme, said: “Our three aims are to find out who gets long Covid and why they get it, what the best thing is to do about long Covid and then what are the social and economic predictors of variabilities in access to services.”

Dr Hickman’s advice to anyone suffering from long Covid is to visit https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/

“If you are still unwell at 12 weeks then your GP is the next port of call,” she says.

They should be able to guide the patient to the right care pathway.

A new service has also been launched to help people recovering from Covid-19 across the Bradford district and Craven.

The service developed through the Act As One health and care partnership will help guide people in accessing advice and specialists.

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James Mitchinson