Resources are not being put in place to help and support people suffering with long COVID.
That’s according to Jack Lambert, professor of Infectious Diseases at the UCD School of Medicine.
He was speaking following a Health Research Board (HRB)-funded study which examined 150 patients.
Prof Lambert told Pat Kenny we need to change our approach.
“Some patients, two and a half years down the way – it’s actually 29 months now – are just not over the COVID infection that they got two and a half years before.
“And it’s primarily the brain that’s been affected, not the heart and the lungs, it’s the brain.
“We need to really get additional resources to support these patients, because currently they are not being supported in Ireland to manage that condition”.
Dr Jack Lambert. Picture by: lymediseaseuk.com
As well as brain fog, he says a number of people showed other symptoms.
“Patients who didn’t have headaches before are having these uncontrolled headaches, head pressures.
“People are having funny things going on with their ears, ringing in the ears, tinnitus, problems with the eyes.
“The cranial nerves that come out of the brain – that people with long COVID sometimes have smell and taste loss – but it’s also all the other nerves.
“The other nerves that control temperature regulation, blood pressure, pulse – all of the cranial nerves seem to be involved.
“So it really is a condition that affects the brain, and then it also affects patients moods.
“If you’ve got inflammation of your brain, it’s almost acting – I think – like a viral meningitis.
“They have a whole range of neurological problems caused by COVID… some of them are still with these symptoms 29 months later”.
While Prof Lambert says he has offered to help the Health Service Executive (HSE) going forward.
“I’ve actually asked for meetings with the HSE and asked to present the data that we’ve put together, and actually offered to support them in re-writing the guidelines so that they would help the long COVID patients.
“But I haven’t got any feedback yet”, he adds.