POST VIRAL FATIgue - long covid

Although Long Covid is a new condition, Post Viral Fatigue isn’t, and is something that the specialist therapists at North West Fatigue Clinic have been treating for many years. Post Viral Fatigue is when you have ongoing fatigue, together with other symptoms, following a viral infection such as Covid-19. Using their ASSIST programme our therapists firstly begin by assessing your specific needs and determine how much activity you are able to tolerate without an increase in your symptoms, from here they will help you to apply taught techniques so that you are able to very gradually increase your activity levels and achieve your goals.

My Sister contracted Covid-19 at the end of March and has been suffering with Post Viral Fatigue, or Long Covid, ever since. She suffers with physical, cognitive and emotional fatigue. She has recently registered with NWFC - North West Fatigue Clinic. She has been working with a lovely therapist called Lesley Pickering, my Sister said that she feels Lesley has saved her life, it might sound extreme but I'm sure a lot of you can probably relate to this.
Patient's Sister
"I would like to say a big thank you to Lesley at North West Fatigue Clinic. I have been a patient of hers for the last 5 months, the improvement in my health is tremendous. I really am a different person to the one that contacted the clinic in June. I didn't know what was wrong with me.With the clinic's treatment plan (building up my strength gradually physically and cognitively) I am well on the way to getting back to having a normal life. I really couldn't have achieved this without Lesley's professional help, kindness and understanding."

Fatigue & Covid -19

Fatigue is a common symptom in those presenting with symptomatic Covid – 19. In fact one study showed that around 52% reported severe persistent fatigue at 10 weeks after initial Covid – 19 symptoms, and 30% of people were unable to return to work because of their ongoing fatigue.  No correlation was seen between the severity of the initial symptoms and the resulting fatigue.

Longer term outcome

The longer term consequences of Covid – 19 are currently unknown, however it has been raised that it can potentially trigger Post Viral Fatigue. The treatment for this being very similar to that of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS/ME, using a variety of interventions to firstly manage the fatigue and then to gradually build the person’s tolerance to activity.

what we know so far....


Fatigue is needed when you have a virus so that you will rest and fight the infection to promote recovery. However for some the fatigue can continue once the initial symptoms of the virus have subsided. This fatigue can become chronic and is not improved through sleep.


There dosen't appear to be a correlation between the severity of the initial acute symptoms of Covid-19 and the ongoing symptoms. Both those that were initially admitted to hospital, and those that managed their symptoms at home, are reporting long term symptoms including fatigue.


Symptoms of fatigue are varied, can fluctuate, and are unique to each person. Fatigue lessens the physical, cognitive and emotional energies of a person and is significantly different to 'normal tiredness'. See below for some of the common long term symptoms that are being reported.


As the symptoms and their severity is different for everyone, so is the length of their recovery. Early rehabilitation delivered by a health professional can be beneficial in altering the downward trajectory at an earlier stage, avoiding more severe symptoms, and optimising improvement.

Some of the symptoms being reported include....

Shortness of breath
Joint pain
Muscle ache/pain
Chest pain
Loss of smell and/or taste
Sore throat
Nausea and/or changes in appetite
IBS symptoms
Brain fog
Poor memory
Word finding difficulties
Low mood

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