Managing the long-term effects of COVID-19: implications for community nurses
COVID-19 has disrupted almost every aspect of life since 2020. The initial and continuing challenges around the virus and its manifestations has required practitioners and researchers to respond at pace using approaches akin to ‘natural experiments’, given the many factors out of their control.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a worldwide human crisis, with a profound effect on health and wellbeing alongside its socio-economic impact. The emergence of ‘post-COVID-19 syndrome’ or ‘long COVID’, where the fluctuating signs, symptoms and symptom clusters persist for 12 weeks or more, and other diagnoses are excluded, is concerning (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2022). As of March 2023, the Office for Nationl Statistics (2023) have estimated that 1.9 million people or 2.9% of the UK population are experiencing self-reported long COVID. Long COVID is a new disease and a complex multi-system condition with over 200 reported symptoms. Fatigue is the most common one followed by difficulty concentrating/brain fog, muscle ache and pain and shortness of breath (NICE, 2022; Torrance et al 2023).
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