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'We will live with this for years': virus expert on debilitating after-effects of Covid-19


One of the world’s foremost virus experts has said survivors will be living with the effects of Covid-19 for “years to come” after he was struck down by a severe infection, and called for added support for those who have recovered from the disease. 

Professor Peter Piot, who as director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has been at the forefront of the academic response to the pandemic, has spent his entire career studying viruses such as Ebola and HIV

Prof Piot spent a week at the Royal Free Hospital in London in early April after contracting the disease. “I spent a week in isolation on a ward with three other men. I couldn’t leave the room. When I came out the thing I remember most is seeing the sky. London was deserted - it was in acute lockdown,” he said.

The fever and splitting headache he had felt before being admitted were gone and apart from chronic exhaustion he was feeling better, he said. Getting out of bed was a struggle and he had to take rests when going up the many flights of stairs of his tall Georgian townhouse. But a week later he took a turn for the worse - he became breathless and his heart rate shot up to over 100. 

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