Long Covid is ‘extremely debilitating’: Derry GP

Dr Tom Black.Dr Tom Black.
Dr Tom Black.
There are currently estimated to be 1 in 17 people in Northern Ireland with Covid, writes Dr Tom Black.

Most of us will now know a least one person who has had it or we will have had it ourselves.

Thankfully, most of these cases have been mild, although for some people it will always be more severe and risky and, unfortunately, some people will develop long Covid which is proving to be extremely debilitating.

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There are new variants emerging all the time, so it appears that we are going to be dealing with different variants for some time to come as the virus mutates.

Restrictions have been relaxed so it is now up to individuals to assess what they want to do.

People who feel they might be at additional risk should try to avoid contact with infected people.

If they want to wear a mask, they should do so and anyone who has Covid should restrict their movements.

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The high case numbers have a knock-on effect on healthcare, with staff having to take time off sick or isolating.

It is best when attending health care facilities to wear a mask to protect yourself, to protect other vulnerable patients and to protect staff from Covid, as we need staff to stay at work.

Given the huge issues we have with waiting lists, this is a very difficult situation and will put added pressure on the system.

There will be another round of vaccinations this autumn and I would strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to take up the offer of a Covid booster and the flu vaccine.

* Dr Tom Black is a GP based in Derry. He is also council chair of the British Medical Association (NI).