Long covid could be worse than the virus itself, warns Milton Keynes Council leader

    Milton Keynes residents are being warned that the after-effects of coronavirus, known as long covid, could be worse than the virus itself.

    Currently, the infection rate here in the city is rapidly rising, with the weekly number of infections at 190 per 100,000 people.

    And today, Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council, took the opportunity to remind people that we are in the "critical" stage of lockdown where our actions determine the city's case numbers for weeks to come.

    He also warned about the impact of long covid, saying: "Thankfully, most people with covid will only experience mild symptoms. But we now know that some people get very sick, especially vulnerable and older people. That's why we're making all these sacrifices. However, there is another way in which COVID-19 can affect people who've had it, even if their initial period of ill health has passed. This is called 'long covid'.

    "Long covid can affect anyone and isn't limited to older people or how severe your initial symptoms are. Experts are still working to understand it in more detail."

    Long covid can have a debilitating effect on people's lives, leaving them feeling the after-effects of the virus for many months. 

    Cllr Marland warns that young healthy people may have a mild case of covid, but be "hit hard" by long covid.

    Experiences of long covid completely vary from person to person. It may mean months of extreme fatigue, breathlessness, and persistent aches and pains. "It can cause headaches and is known to affect your brain, gut, and heart," adds the council leader, "some people report mental health problems and feeling depressed.

    "Some people are unable to process their thoughts clearly. Long covid seems to happen to around 1 in 20 of all COVID-19 sufferers.

    "That might mean for most people, long covid could be worse than the virus itself."

    There is currently no way for coronavirus sufferers to avoid long covid, apart from people avoiding being infected with coronavirus in the first place.

    "This means taking basic precautions to limit the spread of the virus," concludes Cllr Marland.

    People should avoid unnecessary contact, stay at home unless they can't, follow coronavirus prevention measures, and isolate if they develop symptoms.

    © MKFM News 2020

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