25-year-old’s long Covid symptoms have persisted for three years

What is long Covid and what are the known symptoms?

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Research estimates that 65 million people worldwide suffer from the debilitating symptoms of long Covid. Lily Seibert, 25, from Brooklyn, New York, is one of them. The 25-year-old hasn’t been able to shift five symptoms with the help of any medications or treatments for three years now. 

Lily first tested positive for coronavirus early on in the pandemic on March 24, 2020.

The woman was hit with flu-like symptoms which she expected would disappear within a few days.

It wasn’t until three weeks later that these initial symptoms budged but signs like shortness of breath and light-headedness unfortunately stayed.

Lily wasn’t able to walk for more than 15 minutes, with tasks such as climbing up the stairs feeling like doing a night shift.

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The New Yorker said: “I am now approaching three years of dealing with chronic exhaustion, shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heart rate and difficulty exercising.

“While it is easy to feel discouraged, I am also hopeful knowing that studies and research about this condition are ongoing.”

Before she got struck by Covid, Lily was an active person who enjoyed playing sports and working out.

She said: “For the first five to eight months after Covid, I wasn’t able to do any of that.

“At the beginning, it was a loss of identity for me.”

The account executive said that Lily isolated in her apartment for a month and started to feel more intense Covid symptoms like chest pains, shortness of breath and fatigue.

Lily said: “Around three to four weeks around the time, I figured I should be getting better [but] those symptoms weren’t going away.

“It wasn’t necessarily the strong discomfort we would associate with an acute illness but over time the symptoms would go away and then come out – it’s been a rollercoaster.”

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Over the last few years, Lily has had a number of therapies and medications, including inhalers, antibiotics and breathing exercises – none of which worked.

However, the 25-year-old found that acupuncture brought her “to a level of normality” as she noticed some improvements in her symptoms. “But over time it plateaued,” she added.

After all the other treatment options failed, Lily started taking a low-dose of medication called Naltrexone – usually given to people dealing with overdose or addiction.

In 2022, the University of British Colombia found that low-dose of this medicine is safe and it may help reduce pain and inflammation while improving well-being and immune function.

Reflecting on the last three years, Lily said it has been a process of rediscovering herself.

She said: “It has been a long process of realising my own self-worth.

“There is a constant up and down feeling of being hopeful one day and feeling deflated the next day.

“It is hard to keep a stable mood or mindset as you never know how you could be feeling on any given day.”

The NHS recommends seeing a GP if you have persisting Covid symptoms or you think you may have long Covid.

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