Doctor urges Kiwis who have had COVID-19 to rest otherwise risk getting Long COVID

An Auckland doctor is encouraging people who have contracted COVID-19 to rest otherwise risk being affected by Long COVID. 

ProCare doctor Jodie O'Sullivan told Newshub that if you're feeling fatigued "you need to listen to your body". 

O'Sullivan believes around half of her patients have had Omicron and a lot are suffering from symptoms four to six weeks after contracting the virus because they have tried to work through it.

"Because we've been told it's not the nasty one, we've underestimated what it can actually do to you." 

COVID-19 variants like Alpha and Delta commonly affect the lungs but Omicrom can affect the heart. 

"So if you're working and you feel tired, sweaty, headachy, stop, rest. Then you might be able to work again for an hour or two but if you don't, this thing has got a tail." 

If symptoms drag beyond six weeks it's considered to be Long COVID.

Dr Anthony Jordan told Newshub Long COVID is a recognised clinical condition, with some people reporting brain fog and fatigue.

"These are persisting for up to three months and there's no other cause for them."

While it is still too early to know how common Long COVID is with Omicron, researchers are looking into it. 

"We just need to watch and wait at the moment to see where it lands, but at the moment some people are saying as high as 10 to 15 percent."

Most people will recover with rest, but if symptoms like palpitations, chest pains or shortness of breath begin, you should contact Healthline or your doctor. 

"Going out for a run is not a good idea, have a sleep, read a book, drink load of fluids, take some vitamin C, take some time off," O'Sullivan said.