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Professor with coronavirus says symptoms are worse than three other diseases

An infectious disease specialist who contracted coronavirus 59 days ago said his ongoing symptoms are worse than malaria and dengue fever and he’s “floored” by the severity of the disease.Paul Garner, a professor of infectious diseases at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, told 7.30 COVID-19 was “the worst illness” he’s ever had. Prof Garner said…

An infectious disease specialist who contracted coronavirus 59 days ago said his ongoing symptoms are worse than malaria and dengue fever and he’s “floored” by the severity of the disease.

Paul Garner, a professor of infectious diseases at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, told 7.30 COVID-19 was “the worst illness” he’s ever had. Prof Garner said he’s suffered through dengue fever, malaria and other severe infections and has “never been as ill as this – and it’s been really frightening because it’s so unpredictable”.

Prof Garner is still suffering from severe fatigue symptoms 59 days after first being diagnosed with COVID-19.

He said he’ll be hit with symptoms when he “least expects it” and on day six of the illness, he went to bed and felt as though “I was dying”.

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“You feel quite well and then suddenly in the afternoon it slaps you round the head like a cricket bat,” Prof Garner said.

He said he has “sympathy” for people with chronic fatigue syndrome and believes coronavirus “fast tracks you” into experiencing similar symptoms.

Data on long term outcomes for coronavirus patients is scant, and many have taken to online forums to discuss their symptoms.

According to the report, a recent analysis by NSW Health of almost 3000 COVID-19 patients has found that 50 per cent of patients were recovering after a period of 16 days. Another 75 per cent were recovering after 23 days and 95 per cent took six weeks to recover from the virus.

Professor Greg Dore, an Infectious Diseases Specialist from St Vincent Hospital said his team are studying whether even patients who have a mild case of coronavirus can have ongoing health effects.

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Professor Dore is leading a year-long study and said his team will be looking at what having coronavirus does to your body.

“We’re interested in even the milder cases, whether there is an ongoing effect on people’s health, what we call a post viral fatigue; effects on people’s exercise tolerance, on neuro-cognitive function, so ability to concentrate,” he said.

Prof Dore said it’s possible people are suffering from a form of “post viral fatigue” similar to what is observed after contracting other viruses.

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