Caution Urged Over Post-Viral Recovery

The island’s Equality Champion Jane Poole-Wilson MLC has spoken of the importance, particularly for parents, of not pushing sufferers of post-viral symptoms to return to their pre-illness levels of activity.

The MLC was speaking as the island starts to consider what the impact of Long-Covid could be on the population, in particular the large number of children who have caught The island’s Equality Champion and ME sufferers are advising people and parents not to rush recovery from viral conditions as it can have serious long term consequences #isleofmansince the start of the year.

Jane Poole-Wilson

Mrs Poole-Wilson said: ‘Sufferers of post-viral syndromes, their family, and experts in fatigue management are clear – a carefully managed recovery, with activity kept in line with available energy limits – is key. As a parent or carer, knowing this is vital to avoid any well-intentioned, but ultimately potentially very damaging, encouragement to your child, to return too soon to pre-illness levels of activity.’

About 7% to 9% of children who become infected with covid go on to develop some long-Covid symptoms, according to Office for National Statistics data.

ME sufferers and long covid sufferers have recently been collaborating to raise awareness and improve healthcare for the conditions, which share many traits. A spokesperson for the island’s ME support group said that their key message is to be patient and build up gradually to your normal level of activities and to plan to do this over a number of weeks rather than days as the consequences of rushing a recovery can be devastating. 

ME sufferers and long covid sufferers have recently been collaborating to raise awareness and improve healthcare for the conditions, which share many traits. Throughout this year Gef has shared the experience of ME and post-viral syndrome sufferers which has included coverage of a BBC interview with Dr David Strain, the BMA’s lead on the NHS Long Covid Taskforce. 

Facts and Figures

The British Medical Association says that of everyone who tests positive for Covid:

  • 1 in 10 exhibit symptoms for 12 weeks or longer
  • 1 in 5 exhibit symptoms for 5 weeks or longer

Meanwhile patient led research says that 22% of people living with long covid are unable to work after six months while 65% of long covid sufferers were still showing symptoms six months after testing positive for the virus.

Last October Chief Minister Howard Quayle confirmed that after he was ill with Covid, he was still experiencing the loss of most of his sense of taste and smell. A spokesperson for the island’s ME support group said that their key message is to be patient and build up gradually to your normal level of activities and to plan to do this over a number of weeks rather than days as the consequences of rushing a recovery can be devastating.

Self Help 

During the interview Dr Strain explained that long covid generally falls into two categories: ‘There’s long covid that can be attributed to a really bad case of covid in the first instance… but then the surprising group that has come out of this is a group of individuals that didn’t get particularly bad covid but who 2-3 months later are still left with this chronic debilitating fatigue.

‘If anything we’re seeing it more common in the younger patients, the fitter, the very active, the ones who may have got over the initial disease very quickly, but are left with long debilitating symptoms.’

Dr Strain, further explained that studies have shown that commonly ‘people who have got long covid are people who caught it in the first instance and tried to work through it. They tried to say, “it’s only a mild disease, I’ll shrug it off and I’ll get on” and the result is they’ve been left with much more lasting consequences.” His advice is “take it easy, go easy on yourself for two, maybe three or four weeks’.

The spokesperson for Covid Recovery Isle of Man said: ‘Given the number of young people who have recently tested positive, this is really relevant advice for Isle of Man residents.’

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