A health worker has been diagnosed with Long Covid eight months after noticing symptoms.
Dean Dobson, 29, caught coronavirus in February however was only diagnosed in October.
At the time, coronavirus cases were low in the UK and just at double figures.
Mr Dobson began to feel symptoms, such as dizziness and struggling to breathe, however his doctor had diagnosed him with an upper respiratory infection.
Dean, from Bedlington, Northumberland, continued to struggle with dizziness, breathlessness and exhaustion in the months that followed.
While going between GPs, ENT consultants and a private neurologist, he was told the problem could be vertigo, an ear infection or neurological problems.
Finally, in October Dean saw that as a health worker he was entitled to a Covid-19 antibody test, reports ChronicleLive.
The test came back positive, and health professionals have now agreed that Dean is suffering from long Covid.
Long Covid is now recognised as the lingering fatigue and illness that plagues sufferers in the aftermath of being infected with coronavirus.
Almost a year after his first symptoms, Dean is off work for the foreseeable future and can barely walk to the end of his street without getting exhausted.
“It's the worst thing I've ever had to experience in my life,” he said.
“At the end of February I was at work and I just started getting dizzy, unsteady on my feet, being sick, struggling to breathe.
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“I went to the hospital and the doctor who examined me mentioned that people were panicking about coronavirus as it was first hitting the world about that time. But he said it was an upper respiratory infection and I was sent home to rest.”
Dean’s symptoms continued and, after ringing 999 when he couldn’t breathe, he was taken to hospital again and told it could be an ear infection.
He had regular appointments and blood tests over the next few months, with later potential diagnoses including vertigo, vestibular migraines and a neurological problem.
At one point he paid for a private neurologist as the NHS waiting list was six months.
Dean said: “I was at a standstill when I noticed health care workers could get Covid antibody tests, so I applied.
“Last month my test result came back positive. I rang my GP, neurologist and the ENT clinic and they were all in agreement that it was long Covid.
“I have been left with the aftermath as it looks like my body has taken a big impact.
“I am still extremely out of breath, dizzy and have lost three stone in weight.
“I’m also off work with no proper income, and no idea when I’ll be able to go back.
“I can just about walk around the block but then I’m absolutely knackered.
“It’s horrendous, and it’s been really hard for my mental health.”
Dean has now been referred to a long Covid clinic by his GP, and in the meantime has set up an online support group for fellow sufferers to share their stories.
The Facebook group, long Covid Support Group, now has 400 members from all over the world.
Dean said: “It’s only been going for two weeks but it continues to grow and people continue to see what long Covid is all about.”
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