Long Covid Researcher with Long Covid

The Guardian: Opinion: I’m a Covid researcher – and I have long Covid.

Stephanie Longet is a postdoctoral researcher in immunology at the University of Oxford, and an expert in infectious diseases and vaccination and she writes about her experience and thoughts on Long Covid.


“In June 2022, I woke up and had difficulty walking. I assumed I was tired. I had been vaccinated three times, and I had never tested positive before, even after exposure to Sars-CoV-2. But 36 hours later, the lateral flow test confirmed that this virus I had been working on for two years had finally caught up with me. I spent six awful days with terrible pain in my whole body, and I had difficulty walking from one room to the next.

“Many of my symptoms dragged out for a long time. I lost taste for three weeks and smell for six. I was tired for many weeks afterward. But even now, more than seven months later, the pain in my legs has never gone away. It feels as if I have the legs of an elderly person. I can only exert a small amount of effort at a time while walking. I know there are people in worse condition than me. I am still able to work, for instance. But every moment, I still remember that I got Covid and I never fully recovered.

“Currently, 2 million people experience self-reported long Covid symptoms in the UK. Because of the prominence of the condition, there is a huge scientific research interest.There are four main hypotheses about what could be causing the disease. Viral reservoirs, or areas in the body where Sars-CoV-2 is persisting even after the initial infection appears to have cleared. Autoimmunity, meaning the immune system could be dysregulated following Covid and could react against the body’s own components. Latent virus activation, meaning that viruses that lay dormant within the body, like Epstein-Barr, or herpes, may be triggered by Covid. And the possibility that long-term inflammation arising from Covid is causing tissue damage…”

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