A problem shared by mother-of-four and GP Clare Bailey: I’ve had long Covid. How can I dodge a second bout?
- An anonymous person who suffered from long covid fears catching it again
- They wrote to Clare Bailey asking if there was any protection that they could take
- The GP advises vaccination alongside other prevention techniques such as diet
Q I am aware that flu and another round of Covid is heading our way as winter approaches. Having suffered long Covid symptoms since last year, I fear getting it again. Is there anything I can do to protect myself?
A Sorry to hear you suffer from long Covid, a distressing yet common illness.
A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that 2.3million people in the UK have long Covid, with more than a million suffering symptoms, such as fatigue or brain fog, which have lasted for more than a year. Those most at risk are women, aged 35 to 69.
So what can you do? I am convinced that to protect yourself against another bout of long Covid, or worse, it’s a case of vaccination, vaccination, vaccination! For most people, it remains the best way to avoid ending up in hospital or lower the risk of developing long-term problems.
An anonymous person who suffered from long covid fears catching it again They wrote to Clare Bailey asking if there was any protection that they could take
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which monitors the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, even if you have already been triple vaccinated, getting an autumn booster will halve the chance of ending up in hospital.
Autumn boosters are available for adults aged 50 and over, and people with health conditions which put them at higher risk. These include pregnant women, carers, frontline health and social care workers and household contacts of people with a weakened immune system.
You might also book a flu jab, as the signs are that a bad flu season is on the way — partly because of reduced contact over the lockdowns, so flu rates were unusually low. Now the world is opening up, flu viruses are spreading fast. Flu usually leaves you with a fever for a few days, a headache, muscle and joint pains, plus a runny nose, dry cough and sore throat. Most people recover in a week, but it is deadly for some.
What else should you do?
Clare (pictured) advised getting vaccinated but also suggested other prevention techniques such as eating a nutrient-rich diet
1. Minimise close contact, especially with people who are unwell. Wear a mask in public on packed trains or buses. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
2. Eat a nutrient-rich diet to support immunity, packed with protein, fruit and vegetables. Include beans, lentils, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. The fibre in these is converted in your gut into substances that help protect you from respiratory infections. Vitamin D supplements, oily fish for Omega-3, and vitamin C also support immunity.
3. Keep your weight and blood sugars normal. Excess weight and type 2 diabetes are linked to severe Covid symptoms.
4. Keep physically active. Regular exercise will boost your immune system and halve your risk of colds and throat infections. Try to get plenty of sleep, for greater resistance to the virus. Relax and manage your stress where you can.
- Eczema affects up to 20 per cent of children and can really affect their lives. It can be miserable for them, coping with dry, flaky and itchy skin, which is often sore from constant scratching and infections. It also affects sleep — leaving them irritable. The good news is a new drug Dupixent (dupilumab) may reduce symptoms by up to 75 per cent in infants and young children. For those with uncontrolled eczema who have tried creams, oral steroids or immunosuppressants, this monthly injection seems to be at least as good as the riskier immunosuppressant medications and with far fewer side-effects.
Why I walk to Dancing Queen…
A study of more than 78,000 people with an average age of 61 found that walking reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia
MY Husband Michael and I love walking, and our dog, Tari, does too. So I was delighted that a study of more than 78,000 people with an average age of 61 (my age) found that walking reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. Brisk walkers benefited the most. For me ‘brisk’ means at least 100 paces a minute. Motivate yourself by listening to a song with a fast beat, such as Beyonce’s Crazy In Love or ABBA’s Dancing Queen.