NHS Tayside is seeing Covid-19 sufferers left with all manner of ongoing symptoms ranging from hair loss to phantom smells.
A new service to help Tayside residents feeling the after-effects of Covid-19 has had almost 100 referrals since it was set up.
NHS Tayside’s Assessment Rehabilitation Enablement and Support (Cares) service was launched at the start of July 2020.
The Cares team provides support to those suffering with ongoing symptoms after Covid-19 or who are struggling with their physical/mental health as a result of lockdown.
Appointments are held remotely over the telephone or via a video link.
Vicky Stodart is an occupational therapist in NHS Tayside’s Cares team.
“The most common post-Covid symptom is fatigue, with a large majority of people also experiencing breathlessness and chest pain,” she said.
“There are a whole range of symptoms people are experiencing including hair loss, phantom smells, forgetfulness, concentration difficulties, heart palpitations, tinnitus and weight loss.
“It is also really important to acknowledge the impact of ongoing issues from Covid-19 on people’s mental health.
“The majority of people we have seen are 16 to 20 weeks post initial infection and the symptoms are having a major impact on their day-to-day life.
“This in turn can affect a person’s mood because they aren’t able to do the things they want and need to do, including work, exercise and household tasks.”
While the team expected to see some post-Covid symptoms such as fatigue they had not expected others.
Vicky said: “We had a rough idea of some of the effects we may see when the service was being set up.
“However we didn’t expect the huge variety and range of effects.
“Hair loss and a phantom smell, normally of nicotine, have been unexpected.
“People have also had voice changes as a result of the virus.”
Since the service was launched the team has had 94 referrals.