Wednesday 30 March 2022 2:53pm
Dr Anna Brooks and Dr Bronwyn Lennox Thompson feature in RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme discussing the impacts of Long COVID and how to manage the debilitating post-viral condition.
Dr Brooks is an immunologist and senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, and part of a team of international researchers investigating Long COVID.
She says it’s important for people to know that anyone, no matter how severe or mild their COVID experiences, can get Long COVID, even asymptomatic people.
A WHO policy brief has suggested around 25 percent of people who have had COVID, will continue to have symptoms for at least a month, and three months on, around one in 10 people still feel unwell.
Dr Lennox Thompson is a lecturer in pain & pain management, and musculoskeletal medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch. She talks about the implications of returning to exercise after having COVID.
“We are still feeling our way” understanding the impacts of COVID, “so each person needs to assess their own capabilities” before returning to exercise. “And if they are experiencing a flare up of symptoms after having been reasonably well, then it’s time to have a full assessment.”
The Ministry of Health, with input from the Allied Health Alliance, has published Guidance for the rehabilitation of people with or recovering from COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand. “This starts to indicate the sorts of things that we should be thinking about when conducting a proper assessment.”
“Things like looking at your lung capacity. Let’s have a look at your heart, let’s have a look at what you need from a nutritional perspective. And what I’m most concerned about is the ability to engage in what matters in life, which is daily life activities like going to work, going out with your mates, managing your family, and then doing fun things like movement and exercise.”
Listen to RNZ's full interview:
- Guidance for the rehabilitation of people with or recovering from COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand
- Potential magnitude of long COVID from Omicron “a worry” as experts predict “huge case-load” of people with ongoing symptoms, 10 March 2022
- Clinicians warn of gaps in chronic pain services, 23 October 2020
- Read more about Dr Bronwyn Lennox Thompson