Coronavirus survivors could need physiotherapy to learn to walk again, doctor warns

From a high fever to a dry cough, coronavirus is known to be associated with a number of unpleasant symptoms.

Now, one doctor has warned of a long-term effect of the virus, that can leave some patients needing physiotherapy.

Dr James Gill, a GP who has treated several coronavirus patients, explained that in the most severe cases, patients may need to re-learn how to walk.

Speaking to Sun Online, he said: 

After 10 days needing help with breathing, possibly on a ventilator and sedated, we can’t just say, ‘you’ve won the battle, back to the world you go. Patients are going to need step-down care, with nutritionists getting them to eat well and physios helping them to mobilise again.

Dr Gill compares recovering from coronavirus to recuperating after running a half marathon.

He explained: 

Most people who complete a half marathon wouldn't want to do another one the following day, because of how much it hurts. But getting through the worst cases of the Covid-19 virus, and the effect it has on your body, is like doing a half marathon every day during your time in ICU. It is a colossal assault on the body.
You are physically put through the wringer so the recovery process, depending on your age and fitness level, is going to be a slow process.
Patients will suffer from fatigue, in the same way that somebody runs over the marathon line, then collapses and their legs turn to jelly, and they may need help learning how to walk again.

Thankfully, most people who get coronavirus will only develop mild symptoms, including a cough and fever.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), people with mild symptoms should make a good and speedy recovery.

The fever should settle in less than a week, although the cough may linger for longer. A WHO analysis found that it takes two weeks on average to recover.

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