Kate Garraway has voiced her fears the U.K could face a second pandemic from long Covid.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday, the presenter, 54, revealed she had been reading up on scientific research into the long-term implications of those who have had the virus.
Kate said she was motivated to find out more about long Covid following her husband Derek Draper’s year-long battle in intensive care after contracting the virus.
Worries: Kate Garraway voiced her fears the U.K could face a second pandemic from long Covid on Good Morning Britain on Friday
Kate’s husband was first hospitalised in March 2020, when he fell ill after contracting coronavirus, and spent 12 months in hospital after suffering complications from the virus.
Derek, 53, is now at home and Kate has been juggling taking care of the former lobbyist, with looking after the couple’s two children – Darcey, 15, and William, 11 – and her working commitments.
Speaking on GMB, Kate said: ‘There has been this landmark study into long Covid. I know I have personal reasons to look into long Covid in great detail.
‘What they’ve highlighted, and what I’ve been saying, is that we are facing another pandemic of the suffering of long Covid of which the symptoms are still unclear.
Tough time: Kate said she was motivated to find out more about long Covid, following her husband Derek Draper’s year-long battle in intensive care after contracting the virus
Research: The presenter, 54, revealed she had been reading up on scientific research into the long-term implications of those who have had the virus
Fearful: Kate said: ‘What they’ve highlighted, and what I’ve been saying, is that we are facing another pandemic of the suffering of long Covid of which the symptoms are still unclear’
‘We know that thousands if not millions have some of the symptoms, but don’t know the full extent.’
The presenter claimed part of the report stated poor access to treatment was causing problems.
She continued: ‘I can only imagine that is going to get worse as pressure on the NHS is already so great, then with pressure dealing with new cases, how on earth can it be expected to help an emerging other situation, which is long Covid?’
LONG COVID: WHAT IS IT AND COULD IT BE FOUR DIFFERENT SYNDROMES?
Covid-19 is described as a short-term illness caused by infection with the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Public health officials tend to say people will recover within two weeks or so.
However it’s become increasingly clear that this is not the case for everyone, and that the two-week period is only the ‘acute illness’ phase.
The North Bristol NHS Trust’s Discover project, which is studying the longer-term effects of coronavirus, found that out of a total of 110 patients given a three-month check up, most (74 per cent) had at least one persistent symptom after twelve weeks. The most common were:
- Excessive fatigue: 39%
- Breathlessness: 39%
- Insomnia: 24%
- Muscle pain: 23%
- Chest pain: 13%
- Cough: 12%
- Loss of smell: 12%
- Headache, fever, joint pain and diarrhoea: Each less than 10%
Other long term symptoms that have been reported by Covid-19 survivors, both suspected and confirmed, anecdotally, include hearing problems, ‘brain fog’, memory loss, lack of concentration, mental health problems and hair loss.
The impact of Long Covid on people who had mild illness have not been studied in depth yet.
Data from the King’s College London symptom tracking app shows that up to 500,000 people in the UK are currently suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19.
In October, scientists claimed Long Covid could actually be split into four different syndromes.
Academics at the National Institute for Health Research — headed up by Professor Chris Whitty — were asked to review the limited evidence on long Covid to help both patients and doctors understand the ‘phenomenon’.
Their findings warned that even children can suffer and it can’t be assumed that people who are at lower risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19 are also at low risk of lasting side effects.
Doctors cautioned some mental health problems such as anxiety and depression in ‘long-haulers’, as they are known, could be down to lockdowns, as opposed to the virus itself.
The experts also claimed that the symptoms could be grouped into four different groups:
- Post intensive care syndrome (PICS)
- Post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS)
- Permanent organ damage (POD)
- Long term Covid syndrome (LTCS)
Long road ahead: Doctors have said Derek probably ‘won’t recover’ from Covid if he doesn’t make significant improvements in the two years since contracting the virus
Dr Amir responded: ‘Yes, you’re absolutely right. In my experience the treatment options available for patients with long Covid are limited and they’re often waiting quite a long time to be seen in secondary care clinics as well.
‘The study is really promising in that it shows that if you have two doses of the vaccine, you can reduce the risk of developing long Covid by a third. The vaccines are key in this.’
‘Long-haul Covid’ appears in patients that have recovered from the virus and continue exhibiting symptoms for weeks, or potentially months or years, after clearing the infection.
There are a wide-array of symptoms that can appear, including continued loss of taste and smell, long-term fatigue and long-term sensory issues.
The causes of the condition remain unknown and several studies are being conducted to examine long-term effects.
Powering on: Later in the day, Kate didn’t let a little rain dampen her spirits as she braved the streets to head to her Smooth Radio show in London
Later in the day, Kate was spotted heading to Global Studios to host her Smooth Radio show and flashed a smile as she took cover from the wet weather with a newspaper.
Seeming in good spirits, however, the TV star was seen flashing a smile as she arrived for her latest radio show in the rain.
Kate cut a stylish figure in a leopard print midi dress and tailored white coat, which she teamed with nude court heels.
The presenter appeared to have her hands full as she toted a large cream bag on one shoulder and was seen pulling a travel case behind her.
Shielding herself from the downpour, she made sure to protect her blow-dried locks and held a newspaper on her head as she made her way through the capital.
Taking cover: The Good Morning Britain presenter was seen shielding herself from the downpour with a newspaper on her head
Her appearance comes after Kate shared an update on Derek’s recovery and explained how doctors had informed her he needs to make significant improvements in order to recover.
She was told that Derek probably ‘wouldn’t recover’ if her didn’t make progress in the two years after he caught Covid. He has already spent a year in hospital and continues to recover from the deadly infection.
Smile: Seeming in good spirits, Kate flashed a smile as she made her way to Global Studios
Stylish: Kate looked lovely in a leopard print midi dress and white tailored coat
Kate disclosed that Derek’s neurologist, known as Dr W, also said ‘time and waiting are your friends’ because he ‘had never seen anything like this before so can’t personally chart the recovery’, reports The Daily Star.
She had pressed Dr W on how much time to allow for Derek’s recovery and was shocked to learn his estimated time frame of two years.
Writing in her new book, The Power of Hope, Kate recalled her conversation with the neurologist: ‘I had already waited so long, “How long before you know more? Not how long will it take for him to recover, because you don’t know if he can even recover, but how long before you might know more?”
‘It was a confusing question, but I knew what I meant and he seemed to as well.’
She continued: ‘After another long pause, he looked straight at me, then away. “Well, Kate” – the first time he had used my name – “I think it’s fair to say if he is still like this after two years we will know there is very little chance of him making any meaningful recovery.”
‘”TWO YEARS!” I screamed inside my head. Up until now I had been living by the minute, hours on the phone monitoring infection levels and statistics, trying to get a handle on where Derek was, wondering every time I went to sleep if he would still be alive in the morning.’
‘How could I go on like this for another two years? Worse still, how could Derek be trapped like this for two years? The timescale winded me and I’m sure I must have slumped a bit in the chair,’ she penned.
On his hospitalisation, Derek was placed into a medically induced coma before he woke in July, four months later.
Coronavirus had caused havoc throughout his entire body and resulted in him suffering from kidney failure, as well as damage to his liver and pancreas.
On more than one occasion his heart stopped beating, he battled bacterial pneumonia and fought multiple infections which punctured holes in his lungs.
Derek is considered to be the longest surviving Covid-19 patient in the UK and now at home, he still requires round-the-clock care.
Family: Kate shares two children – Darcey, 15, and William, 11 – with husband Derek
A timeline of Derek’s coronavirus battle
Kate revealed she and Prince Charles had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 – Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March.
She said: ‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said [to Derek] ‘god you look ill.’
‘He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe,
‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance’
Derek, 52, was taken into hospital on March 30 and remained in an unresponsive condition.
Kate and her children isolated at home after she displayed ‘mild symptoms’.
Kate said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.
‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.’
Kate said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new and devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight.
‘But he is still HERE & so there is still hope.’
That month, Kate and her family took part in the final clap for carers
She said: ‘I’ll never give up on that because Derek’s the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty’
On June 5, Kate revealed Derek is now free from coronavirus but continues to fight against the damage inflicted on his body
On July 5, Kate revealed Derek has woken from his coma but he remains in a serious yet critical condition.
On July 8, she announced she would be returning to GMB, after being urged by doctors to ‘get on with life’ during Derek’s recovery.
She added that Derek had ‘opened his eyes’ after waking from his coma, but has been told his recovery could take years.
On July 13, Kate returned to GMB for the first time since Derek was hospitalised.
On July 28, Kate revealed she’d paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to Derek, and admitted she’s ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.
On August 14, Kate reassured GMB viewers that Derek was ‘still with us,’ but it was ‘a waiting game.’
On August 19, Kate revealed she celebrated Derek’s birthday with their two children, and described the day as ‘challenging’ for her family.
At the end of September, Derek reportedly becomes the longest surviving patient with coronavirus after spending 184 days in and out of intensive care.
Kate reveals Derek has lost eight stone during his battle.
The presenter announces she is returning to her Smooth Radio show so Derek can hear her voice.
On October 30 Kate reveals that Derek has spoken for the first time in seven months, saying the word ‘pain’ to his wife, who watched on ‘in tears’ over FaceTime.
Kate says a day later that her husband no longer needs a ventilator to breathe.
Kate reveals her family car has been stolen in latest ‘body blow’ to her family life, as kind-hearted fans offer their cars to help.
She says she feels ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of facing her first Christmas without Derek.
The GMB star tells viewers it is her dream to visit Derek on Christmas Day.
She also reveals she missed two weeks on GMB after her children were exposed to the virus, but thankfully she and the kids tested negative.
On December 17, Kate has an emotional conversation live on GMB with two nurses who treated Derek when he was first admitted to Whittington Hospital in North London.
On New Year’s Eve she reflects on a ‘calamitous’ Christmas without Derek, as her house was flooded and she struggled to get a food delivery slot until her pal Emma Willis stepped in to help.
Kate reveals she and her children got to visit Derek in hospital over the Christmas period, and it was the first time her family had seen him since he was hospitalised.
She also says she’s banned from seeing him due to new restrictions introduced during the government’s third lockdown.
Kate reveals she is unsure how much Derek will ‘ever be able to recover’ following warning from doctors that he may never wake from his coma