For most people, COVID-19 is no more than a passing cold, but some are left struggling with strange symptoms for months.
The condition is known as ‘long COVID’ and most commonly presents as crippling fatigue.
Others symptoms include: breathlessness, a cough that won’t go away, joint pain, muscle aches, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches, loss of smell and taste as well as damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and gut.
A study of 143 people in Rome’s biggest hospital has been on the first to look at long COVID.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed hospital patients after they were discharged.
It showed 87% had at least one symptom nearly two months later and more than half still had fatigue.
Jeremy Kenton, BayRadio Health Correspondent, said: “Once again, we are realising it’s not the death rate from COVID, it’s the lasting damage that’s concerning.”
“Long COVID is presenting itself in a variety of ways, such as skin rash, nerve pain, gut symptoms and difficulty breathing.
“Not many people realise that more that being a passing flu, COVID is leading in some cases to permanent lung damage.”