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Into the looking glass: Post-viral syndrome post COVID-19
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  • Ray Perrin,
  • Lisa Riste,
  • Andreas Walther,
  • Annice Mukherjee,
  • Adrian Heald
Ray Perrin
The University of Manchester
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Lisa Riste
The University of Manchester
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Andreas Walther
University of Zurich
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Annice Mukherjee
The University of Manchester
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Adrian Heald
Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust
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Abstract

We are writing to highlight the potential for a post-viral syndrome to manifest following COVID-19 infection as previously reported following Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infection, also a coronavirus. After the acute SARS episode some patients, many of whom were healthcare workers went on to develop a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) - like illness which nearly 20 months on prevented them returning to work. We propose that once an acute COVID-19 infection has been overcome, a subgroup of remitted patients are likely to experience long-term adverse effects resembling CFS/ME symptomatology such as persistent fatigue, diffuse myalgia, depressive symptoms, and non-restorative sleep. In a contracted future economy, managing likely Post COVID-19 syndrome cases, in addition to existing CFS/ME cases will put additional burden on our already hard pressed healthcare system. We suggest that priority is given to exploration of pragmatic relatively low cost techniques to treat post-viral fatigue, to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life for those affected by the longer term sequelae of COVID-19.

Peer review status:Published

Published in Medical Hypotheses on page 110055. Jun 2020. 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110055