Before the epidemic, Lyth Hishmeh, 26, who lives in Camberley, England, is always looking for things to keep him busy. He is a software engineer who studies artificial intelligence while making plans to start a new company. He handles four to five textbooks at the same time. “I can’t sit still,” he said.

Everything came to an abrupt end on March 13, 2020, when he was sent home from get off work due to a suspected case. Coronavirus disease. His symptoms are mild but familiar: cough, fever, shortness of breath. Within two weeks, they had subsided, so Shishme went to buy groceries. In the shop, his heart began to beat wildly; he felt dizzy and panting. “It feels like some kind of heart attack.” He ignored it and boarded the bus going home. But the same feeling came back, this time worse. He stopped the bus, got off, and marked a police car before falling to the ground. He was taken to the hospital where he underwent an ultrasound examination, which showed Covid-19 pneumonia. The consultant said he was fine, and he has been discharged from the hospital.

But Kishme is not good. In the next few months, he developed all the strange and debilitating symptoms that have become the characteristics of the long-term Covid disease: brain fog, severe fatigue, heart palpitations. Just going to the bathroom is a struggle. Hishmeh stayed at home for several months until October 2020. In the worst days of his long Covid, he couldn’t even watch movies all the way. He went to the emergency room more than 10 times. “I would cry and beg,’Just fix me-do something,'” he said.

Today, 16 months after being infected, Hishmeh can leave the house, but he has not fully recovered. He cannot return to work, and he has a new food allergy. He also suffers from orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and when he stands up, his heart beats faster. “I haven’t fully recovered yet,” he said. “It’s too bad. I have made a huge improvement in where I am now. But for an ordinary person, where I am now may be the end of the world.”

Hishmeh is one of an estimated millions of people worldwide who have been infected with Covid for a long time. When scientists scrambled to understand this mysterious situation, they fell into a dilemma of limiting life. However, as long as Covid patients like Hishmeh continue to fight the disease, the health authorities are working to solve some of the most basic problems related to long-term Covid.

In order to understand how serious the Covid problem is, we need to know how many people fall into a situation like Hishmeh. This number is unexpectedly difficult to determine. The numbers mentioned in the media vary widely, depending on the research cited. So what is the real number?

Some estimate ranges are more conservative. A studyAs part of the Covid symptom research, the application ZOE Covid was collected from researchers at King’s College London, and 4 million people were surveyed between March 25, 2020 and June 30, 2020. The results showed that 4.5% of people with Covid -19 reported symptoms after 8 weeks, and only 2.3% reported symptoms after 12 weeks-a fairly low estimate. However, this study has been criticized by long-term Covid patients and researchers. There are several reasons for this low estimate. First, the study is likely to miss some long-term Covid patients who are too tired to record all symptoms on the app regularly. In addition, if the patient has fewer than five symptoms on the last day of using the app, they are counted as having recovered.

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