People with coronavirus in the UK have revealed how the debilitating disease left them weak, breathless and coughing even after they recovered.
More than 84,000 people have been officially diagnosed with the infection since the start of the epidemic in Britain in February – 10,612 have died, but many have recovered.
To overcome the virus, it is not enough to wait for the infection to cure, and people who are coming out of their trials say that it left them totally beaten.
Dani Schuchman, a 40-year-old cyclist, said he had run out of power on his bike and could only walk 2.5 miles at a time.
Elementary school teacher Brian Mephin said in a breathtaking video that he was “wiped out” and even had trouble climbing stairs after he was released from the hospital.
And a man from Manchester known only by the name of Andrew admitted that he had been “breathless” after recovering from the disease.
Curing the virus also has a psychological impact on those who fall seriously ill. Karen Mannering, a mother of three, who is pregnant with her fourth child, said that her hospitalization with COVID-19 was her “darkest hours.”
Doctors say it is not clear how long it takes people to really recover from COVID-19. The more severe a person’s illness, the longer it takes, and those who end up in intensive care can suffer permanent damage to the lungs and liver.
Scientists think it is likely that people will become immune to the virus at least in the short term, which means they will not get it twice, but they are not sure.
Dani Schuchman, of London, was an avid cyclist before catching the coronavirus but now says that he does not have the energy to go out on his bike
Karen Mannering of Kent said that her time in the hospital with COVID-19 was her “darkest hours”
COVID-19 is caused by a virus that mainly attaches to and attacks cells in the lining of the airways and lungs, which is why patients have such a hard time breathing.
The body’s immune response causes the symptoms – swelling in areas where the attacking virus attacks the airways and makes them difficult to breathe, and patients cough to try to expel the viruses and dead lung tissue from their body.
The immune system also causes high temperature and aches and pains as it tries to make the body too hostile for it to survive.
And patients are exhausted as the virus makes the lungs unable to introduce enough oxygen into the blood, depleting the energy supply of the muscles.
While the vast majority of people who get the coronavirus survive – some with medical help, but many without – the effects can last for weeks afterward.
Dani Schuchman, 40, developed pneumonia and needed intensive care after contracting the coronavirus in March. The father of four in good health from London said the experiment destroyed his strength.
He told the Telegraph: “I still have a bit of recovery to do. I can walk about 4 km [2.5miles] and can now help with children’s cooking, housework and home schooling.
“During my first days at home, I had to take a break up the stairs to catch my breath.
“Now I try to increase my energy every day by walking and joining my family in daily training. I still have a slight cough but it subsides every day. “
Schuchman, who was discharged from the hospital two weeks ago, said at the height of his illness he was too exhausted to use his phone.
He added, “I’m sad that I don’t have the energy to go out on my bike. But I hope that in the coming weeks my lungs will be stronger and that I will be able to roll again.
Another patient in need of intensive care was 39-year-old esthetician Karen Mannering of Herne Bay, Kent.
Mannering said the experience had had a huge impact on her mental health and there was a time when she “gave up”.
In a tearful video taken after she left the hospital, she said, “I still have a long way to go to recover, but I’m coming home.”
And in a Facebook post, she added, “I have to remember that I’m one of the lucky ones who can go home to my family, it was too close the other way around.
“Thanks to everyone who sent me wellness messages in my darkest hours, it really helped. “
Mannering told the BBC that she became self-isolated at home after leaving the hospital and that she still had a dry, persistent cough that she believed could last for months.
CAN YOU GET COVID-19 TWICE?
How people recover from COVID-19 is not yet fully understood.
With many viral diseases, such as flu and cold strains, chickenpox, and measles, the body develops immunity after being infected once, and this can last a lifetime.
Immunity means that the body remembers fighting a virus so well that it can destroy it before symptoms start if someone catches the virus.
Scientists still aren’t sure if people will develop full immunity to SARS-Cov-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, after they get it – but the overwhelming belief is that people won’t get it twice.
The fact that so few people seem to have fallen ill a second time – there have been scattered reports from China and South Korea – and that hundreds of thousands of people around the world have recovered for good, seems to prove that people only get sick once.
The virus also appears to be a slow mutation and to develop only in a few strains since its first passage in humans. On the other hand, the flu mutates so quickly and so often that it circulates constantly because people’s immune systems cannot keep up, so every year there is a new flu that no one has caught yet and cannot so not protect yourself.
Dr. Elitza Theel, testing expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told MailOnline whether people develop immunity is a big unknown about the coronavirus.
Studies on monkeys, she said, suggest that people will at least benefit from short-term immunity.
She said, “If we think of other coronaviruses, we know that we develop antibodies against them, but we can still be infected. [It may be that] there is a certain level of protective immunity that can protect us from serious illness. “
Scientists say they still don’t know enough about the coronavirus to fully understand what healing should look like.
Some people, they admit, will need medical help for longer periods of time than others after recovering from the initial infection.
Dr. James Gill, general practitioner and professor at the University of Warwick, said: “There are few problems in medicine where the best management plan is” take a pill now go “and this is probably also true with COVID-19.
“The medical community currently has limited information on the best cure for patients with coronavirus.
“But it is very likely after admission to the hospital that an integrated care pathway will be required, considering the patient as a whole person, not just a biological organism that has experienced a respiratory problem. “
The most critically ill patients who need respirators may end up with permanent lung damage due to the way life support systems force air into their airways.
Dr. Gill said that after the SARS epidemic in East Asia in 2002/2003, people had mental and physical health problems even a year after their recovery.
He added: “One year after recovery, two-thirds of the patients had evidence of mental health impact, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.
“From this, we can extrapolate that patients recovering from COVID-19 should be invited to actively engage with mental health services, either directly or through home-based approaches.
“Physically, when re-examining SARS cases, 27.8% of patients presented with persistent changes in chest x-rays 12 months after recovery.
“While post-infection lung function was within the normal range for these patients, they also demonstrated reduced exercise tolerances.”
Elementary school teacher Brian Mephin said his ordeal with COVID-19 “took me and threw me to the ground” and that he thought he might never see his family again.
He revealed in a breathless video that illness prevented him from climbing the stairs of his house and that he was too weak to play with his children.
He said, “I’m a fit man, I play football on a Monday, I love life and it almost took me … When I got home, I wanted to play in the garden with my sons, my beautiful sons Leo and Frankie and my son, Jack, who is older but who even climbs the stairs… ‘
Brian Mephin, an elementary school teacher, said in a breathtaking video that the coronavirus had made it difficult for him to climb the stairs and was unable to play with his children.
Andrew, a father of four, said that the coronavirus was “the worst week of my life” and that he was “out of breath from the lung inflammation it caused”.
A father of four from Manchester, known only by the name of Andrew, revealed that he too felt weak and incapacitated after contracting the virus, reported the Manchester Evening News.
Andrew ended up needing oxygen treatment at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester after catching COVID-19 in March.
In a Facebook article, he described the experience as “the worst week of my life,” but it had “good results” thanks to NHS staff.
He wrote, “I went home now free from the virus but out of breath from the lung inflammation it caused. It takes time to settle.