After contracting glandular fever in 2014 I grew to experience fatigue among a large list of symptoms. This is explained as being post-viral fatigue, with the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome/ M.E being made after 6 months. These symptoms almost exactly mirror those of the newly discovered and discussed Long COVID.
The Office for National Statistics said in December that an estimated one in five people testing positive for COVID-19 exhibit symptoms for five weeks or longer, with one in 10 exhibiting symptoms for 12 weeks or longer. This, as previously mentioned is therefore post-viral fatigue, especially as the initial illness itself is a virus!
The increasing amount of research into long COVID contrasts with the experience of many with M.E/CFS, who often have felt ignored or misunderstood by the medical profession. Although, it is important to note, the interest in long COVID is an opportunity to learn more about the longer-term consequences of viral infections – which could, in time, also benefit people with M.E/CFS.
However, the problem here is the amount of time it could take for any resulting treatment and understanding found from research into Long COVID to be applied to patients with M.E/CFS. Patients with M.E/CFS have already experienced some of the poorest treatment for a condition that is described as impacts 17 million people world wide. Many patients experience disbelief, ignorance and a plethora of tests in regards to their symptoms, with now out-dated treatment such as graded exercise therapy causing more harm than good.
So, what can you do to help?
A petition to increase funding for research into M.E and CFS has been launched by a Ms Katy Allen, with over 1800 signatures so far, the petition is increasing in popularity. However, there is still quite a way to go before the petition will be considered in parliament. Can you help by signing the petition? Follow the link below to do so.