Post-viral fatigue does not relate specifically to the severity of the initial infection.
Post‐viral fatigue (PVF) or post‐viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) are terms used to describe a condition that happens weeks or months after the initial onset of symptoms of a viral infection. Any viral infection, from mumps to glandular fever or flu, can trigger PVF/PVFS.
A condition referred to as “Long Covid” is being reported around the world. This term describes the signs and symptoms that develop during or following a Covid‐19 infection, which continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.
Post-viral fatigue can affect people of all ages and does not relate specifically to the severity of the initial viral infection. Some people who present with ME/CFS symptoms are found to have ongoing underlying viral infections (see ME/CFS).
At Breakspear Medical, we see a lot of people who have developed post-viral fatigue syndrome and provide supportive management to improve their quality of life and functional capabilities.
Symptoms of PVF/PVFS
The symptoms of PVF/PVFS include:
- brain fog/trouble concentrating
- joint stiffness
- muscle pain
- memory/concentration problems
- sleep abnormalities
- recurring symptoms of viral infections, such as sore throat, headache and swollen lymph nodes
In Long Covid cases, the symptom of a loss or change of one’s sense of smell or taste may persist and other symptoms may change over time. Persistent symptoms include, but are not limited to, heart irregularities, breathing problems, stomach or intestine irregularities including food sensitivities, muscle weakness, poor coordination, dizziness and various types of skin rashes, in addition to psychiatric problems, generalised pain, fatigue and persisting fever.
Identifying the causes
Breakspear Medical has always had a policy of identifying causes and then offering treatment.
As well as a physical examination and assessment, there are a variety of laboratory tests that determine infectious agents such as Covid‐19, Epstein‐Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and Parvovirus B19. As with ME/CFS patients, tests for bacterial, rickettsial and parasitic organisms are also available.
If you suspect you have had Covid‐19 but have not had it confirmed, we offer both Covid‐19 at‐home antibody test kits
and Covid‐19 IgG antibody blood tests (blood sample is taken at our clinic, by appointment only). For more information,
Treatment of PVF/PVFS
Personalised treatment for patients with post viral fatigue is determined by finding the cause and expert assessment. The sooner this condition is treated, the more likely it is for a favourable outcome. If the condition continues to burden the immune system, further complications may occur, including a cytokine shift, which compromises the immune system’s ability to wipe out viruses.
The treatments we offer are anti‐viral treatments and high‐dose gamma globulin to treat Parvovirus. Where people have developed intolerance to foods, these are also recognised and treated using antigen‐specific, low‐dose immunotherapy (LDI). While the immune system attacks the virus and repairs tissue, toxic by-products are created and require elimination through the detoxification pathways. In some people, this can be overwhelming and draining for the body. We can help with the use of detoxification support, hyperthermia treatment and infusions.
At this time, there is no research to support any specific treatment for Long Covid. However, post-viral treatment has broad applicability to multiple viral infections and therefore may benefit those who present with symptoms consistent with post-viral fatigue syndrome following infection with Covid-19.
Find out more
If you feel that you may be suffering from PVF/PVFS, speak to a member of our Patient Liaison team to find out how we can help you.