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For 15 weeks, Tereza, a 36-year-old Pilates instructor from Scotland, has been unwell with suspected Covid-19. At the end of March, she developed the classic symptoms: a fever and persistent dry cough, alongside fatigue.
She self-isolated and, after about 10 days, the cough disappeared – but she still didn’t feel 100%. “The roulette of other strange symptoms started,” she tells HuffPost UK. There were day-long migraines, stabbing pains across her body, pressure in her ears and behind her eyes, confusion, brain fog, rashes, a dry mouth, shortness of breath, pins and needles, hallucinations – the list goes on.
“At the beginning, my symptoms were growing in numbers and were quite intense and severe,” she says. “Around week 10, things started to calm down and some symptoms often disappeared for long periods of time.”
Tereza, who preferred not to share her surname, is one of thousands who suspect they’re still dealing with the repercussions of the virus. While there’s limited data on it, the Covid-19 Symptom Study found one in 10 are reporting a longer tail of symptoms, exceeding the suggested two-week recovery time.
Some refer to the phenomenon as ‘long Covid’, with around 5% of people experiencing symptoms for months.
Many can’t say for sure whether they’re fighting the virus or something else, because widespread testing wasn’t in place when they first became ill. HuffPost UK spoke to four people who tested negative for the virus because they were tested a number of weeks into their illness, by which time swab tests don’t tend to work. People are advised to get tested in the first three days of experiencing...