The Covid-19 Patients Who Have Symptoms For Months: ‘Weird as hell’

“I’ve studied 100 diseases. Covid is the strangest one I have seen in my medical career.”

By Luke Harding
The Guardian (5/15/20)

In mid-March Paul Garner developed what he thought was a “bit of a cough”. A professor of infectious diseases, Garner was discussing the new coronavirus with David Nabarro, the UK’s special envoy on the pandemic. At the end of the Zoom call, Nabarro advised Garner to go home immediately and to self-isolate. Garner did. He felt no more than a “little bit off”.

Days later, he found himself fighting a raging infection. It’s one he likens to being “abused by somebody” or clubbed over the head with a cricket bat. “The symptoms were weird as hell,” he says. They included loss of smell, heaviness, malaise, tight chest and racing heart. At one point Garner thought he was about to die. He tried to Google “fulminating myocarditis” but was too unwell to navigate the screen.

Garner refers to himself wryly as a member of the “Boris Johnson herd immunity group”. This is the cluster of patients who contracted Covid-19 in the 12 days before the UK finally locked down. He assumed his illness would swiftly pass. Instead it went on and on – a rollercoaster of ill health, extreme emotions and utter exhaustion, as he put it in a blog last week for the British Medical Journal.

There is growing evidence that the virus causes a far greater array of symptoms than was previously understood. And that its effects can be agonisingly prolonged: in Garner’s case for more than seven weeks. The professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine says his experience of Covid-19 featured a new and disturbing symptom every day, akin to an “advent calendar”.

He had a muggy head, upset stomach, tinnitus, pins and needles, breathlessness, dizziness and arthritis in the hands. Each time Garner thought he was getting better the illness roared back. It was a sort of virus snakes and ladders. “It’s deeply frustrating. A lot of people start doubting themselves,” he says. “Their partners wonder if there is something psychologically wrong with them.” …

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Latest On COVID-19 In MN: Parents Warned Of Syndrome Affecting Kids

Minnesota Public Radio Staff (5/16/20)

Health officials are asking parents, clinics and doctors to be on the lookout for a worrisome inflammatory condition affecting children that’s believed to be related to COVID-19, and that’s proven deadly elsewhere.

“There may be some cases in Minnesota” of multi-system inflammatory syndrome, Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state’s epidemiologist, said Friday. “We would like to get the reports and be able to find out if it is occurring and how frequently it is occurring.”

People are asked to call their clinic or doctor if their kids start showing symptoms, including fever, abdominal pain, rash, swollen hands or feet or pink eyes. In New York State, several children are believed to have died from the condition.

Lynfield’s remarks came hours after Minnesota officials reported 20 more COVID-19 deaths, putting the toll at 683. Just under 500 people were currently hospitalized, with 200 in intensive care, about the same as Thursday. Total cases surged to 14,240 positive tests for the disease since the start of the outbreak. …

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