A WOMAN claims she is still suffering from coronavirus symptoms 10 months after catching the bug.
Nic Kimberley, 53, claims she was struck down with the virus last Christmas day after flying to the Caribbean for a winter holiday.
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Nic, from Worcester, believes she caught the bug a few days before Christmas while mingling with Chinese passengers who landed at Gatwick Airport from Wuhan – the city where the pandemic originated.
She spent the entire week of her holiday in bed with a fever, lack of taste and smell and a cough – all classic symptoms of coronavirus.
When Nic returned to her home in Cheltenham, her symptoms persisted and she went to her GP who was baffled by her illness – and even suggested it could be swine flu.
Initial blood tests in February showed "abnormal results" – and doctors tested her for everything from Zika to Malaria and even Sars.
But her coronavirus diagnosis was only confirmed in June when she had a plasma test after taking part in the Oxford University trials – following months of hospital visits and debilitating symptoms.
Scientists said the earliest known person to contract coronavirus in the UK was a 75-year-old woman from Nottinghamshire who tested positive on February 21 – two months after Nic fell ill.
But the former BBC journalist now claims she is the UK's longest Covid-19 sufferer – and told of her horrific battle with the disease.
She said: "It was found my various organs and glands had not been working properly for quite a while.
I have never lost the chest pain. I find it difficult to breathe
"I lose my eyesight for a few hours here and there, then it comes back blurry.
"It is flaring virus, it sits and hides inside the body before coming out.
"It is the pattern for long Covid people like myself, that they are seeing."
She added: "I have never lost the crippling arthritic and joint pain. I have never lost the chest pain. I find it difficult to breathe.
"The longest period I've had is seven days when I start to feel almost back to normal.
"But the virus it teases you, the next day you can't stand up, and your ears have been bleeding.
"It is the most horrendous disease, it takes everything you have away from you."
Terrified Nic also said she has "no idea" if she will ever fully recover from her nightmarish battle with the bug.
As well as the physical toll, Nic said the strain of battling the disease has also had a huge impact on her mental health – and is using her experiences to warn young Brits of the dangers of Covid-19.
She continued: "I used to be a BBC radio journalist, I used to be eloquent and now my short-term memory is gone, I would be beaten at Scrabble by a two-year-old.
"Young people think they are immune.
"I get so angry when I see the Covidiots – they need to know the reality."
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Nic says she has found some comfort and support in the Long Covid Support Group, which brings together Brits who are still suffering from mysterious long term effects of the disease.
Scientists are currently uncertain about what causes "long Covid" – and how to alleviate the debilitating symptoms.
Earlier this month, data from the Covid Symptom Tracker, used by four million Brits, found that 12 per cent of people still had symptoms after 30 days.
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