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Quebec COVID-19 long-haulers call for treatment and support

Click to play video: 'A group of COVID-19 long-haulers calling on Quebec for more help' A group of COVID-19 long-haulers calling on Quebec for more help
WATCH: Patients in Quebec with lasting COVID-19 symptoms, also known as long-haulers, are asking for help and treatment after months of living with symptoms of the virus. As Global’s Raquel Fletcher reports, the patients have teamed up with experts to demand help from Quebec's health minister. – Oct 22, 2021

Patients in Quebec with lasting COVID-19 symptoms — also known as COVID long-haulers — are asking for help and treatment after months of living with symptoms of the virus that just won’t go away.

“It’s like living with batteries that are always at five per cent,” said Carrie Anna McGinn.

The Quebec City resident has been living with the symptoms of what’s known as long Covid since she first contracted the virus in December 2020. The once-active health-care professional and mother of a three-year-old daughter now finds it almost impossible to complete daily tasks.

Read more: 37% of COVID-19 patients show at least one long-term symptom, study finds

“It feels like I’m wrapped in a lead blanket,” she said, adding the worst part is not having an answer when her daughter asks when she is going to get better.

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McGinn has heart damage and other health conditions as a result of COVID-19.

“So it’s possible that I will never get better and that’s a hard thing to tell your three-year-old,” she said.

Read more: What it takes to recover from long COVID

Early statistics from the U.K. show that about 10 per cent of COVID cases lead to long-term symptoms. For many COVID long-haulers, it could be years before they return to a state of health.

These patients, along with the COVID-STOP collective of doctors and scientists, are calling for the government to extend a treatment which is currently only available in the city of Sherbrooke.

“We realize everywhere, including in Quebec, that we (have) a lack of appropriate care because patients go from one doctor to another doctor without an appropriate response,” said Dr. Amir Khadir, a member of COVID-STOP and former Quebec MNA.

Read more: Tens of thousands experiencing ‘long COVID-19’ symptoms in Ontario, science group says

He said more doctors need to be trained.

“The project has been developed and submitted to the minister. What I would like to underline here is we can’t wait another year,” Khadir said.

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For people who now face a permanent disability because of COVID-19, this collective said the government and health minister need to create supports to help them for the rest of their lives.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’ describe shakes, trouble breathing weeks after testing positive' COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’ describe shakes, trouble breathing weeks after testing positive
COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’ describe shakes, trouble breathing weeks after testing positive – Feb 19, 2021

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