App launched in Wales to help support people with long Covid

PA

An app has been launched in Wales to support people experiencing the longer term effects of coronavirus, known as long Covid.

The bilingual app has been developed by the NHS Wales respiratory health group on behalf of the Welsh Government and is designed to help people in their recovery from Covid-19.

It has more than 100 videos and links to advice, with users able to record their symptoms, track their progress and manage their condition at home with support.

Advice from therapists, psychologists, dieticians and consultants also features on the app.

Post-Covid-19 syndrome, also known as long Covid, is defined as symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with coronavirus that continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

Health minister Vaughan Gething said it was estimated that 10% of people who have had coronavirus suffer some long-term symptoms.

“The launch of this app, which is the first of its kind, is to reassure those people that there is support available to them and that they are not alone,” Mr Gething said.

“This app is part of a wider national approach which has been put into place to recognise those people who months later are still feeling a range of cardiac, neurological and psychological issues.

“Anyone can download the app but we’re also asking health professionals to recommend it to their patients so that their care can continue at home long after their appointment ends.”

Mr Gething said GPs were still “best placed” to signpost patients to support, carry out testing and refer them to specialist consultants if necessary.

Dr Fiona Jenkins, executive director of therapies at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said the “vast majority” of people fully recover from coronavirus quickly.

“However, we’ve seen that for some people, it can take three months or even longer for symptoms to settle,” Dr Jenkins said.

“The role of the GP is pivotal in ensuring any medically treatable symptoms are appropriately managed.

“Where necessary, your GP can ensure you are checked and given access to specialist consultants and held guide you through your path to recovery which largely requires a rehabilitation approach for the majority of people, and the Covid recovery app has been developed for this purpose.”

People are urged to call 999 if they experience any life-threatening symptoms, or the 111 coronavirus service or their GP if they feel their symptoms are not improving or they need further advice.

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