Illawarra woman Tamara Nobbs describes lingering effects of COVID explained, months down the track

Tamara Nobbs is still dealing with the effects of COVID-19, four months after she was struck down with the virus.

She still suffers from the joint pains that stemmed from her infection in September last year.

Ms Nobbs, from the Illawarra region of NSW, said her first sign of the virus was neck pain, which she initially thought was from sleeping in the wrong position.

But then it was discovered her partner Matthew Cooper had COVID and she, along with their children Amelia, 9, and Briella, 2, had also caught the virus.

Ms Nobbs said her children had mild symptoms limited to a sore throat and fever, but she suffered the neck pain along with migraines, loss of smell and throat irritation, although escaped any breathing issues and was able to manage her illness at home.

The family were back to their normal lives now, she said, but the joint pains continued for her and she did light exercises in an attempt to relieve them.

"It's very annoying," Ms Nobbs said.

She is far from the first person to experience lingering issues long after the infection itself has cleared.


Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District researchers Dr Stuart Tan, Dr Lyndel Hewitt, Dr Jose Cuenca and Dante Risi published a paper in the Australian Journal of General Practice last month that looked at the longer-term symptoms of COVID among people diagnosed with the original strain of the virus and the Alpha variant.

While only 12 per cent of the 59 participants were hospitalised, almost three-quarters of them reported ongoing problems months after diagnosis.

The most common of these were fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, limb weakness, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath.

Forty-five per cent of people said they had trouble doing activities they were able to do before they had COVID, with most attributing this to lack of energy and shortness of breath.

The study also revealed increased levels of depression, anxiety and stress among participants.

"Improved understanding of the health needs of patients with 'long COVID' will become more crucial as cases surge with emergence of new variants and mortality decreases with increased rates of vaccination," the researchers said.

This story The lingering effects of COVID explained, months down the track first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.