One in three coronavirus survivors may have suffered permanent damage, according to a report.
NHS guidance suggests around 30 per cent of patients may be left with scarred or damaged lung tissue if it is consistent with other similar diseases, it is claimed.
This means around 100,000 of the 300,000 people who have tested positive in the UK could suffer life-long effects from the disease.
Health officials believe up to half of the patients who were treated in intensive care units may suffer persistent cognitive, psychological and physical effects.
Dr Hilary Floyd, clinical director of the NHS centre for recovering Covid-19 patients, warned that previously healthy people in their 40s and 50s could face future problems with fatigue and disability.
She told the Telegraph : «These are people who were independent, they might be running their own business, going to the gym, swimming, active – now they are at the point they can’t get out of bed.
“We have a couple of patients in their 40s at the moment; we really didn’t expect that.
«We were expecting them to be older, we have seen a lot in their 50s and 60s who are really struggling particularly because their expectation of getting back to normal is much greater.”
The NHS Seacole Centre, which opened four weeks ago, will eventually be able to treat up to 300 patients recovering from the disease.
Dr Floyd said patients face being permanently debilitated to some extent.
NHS England guidance to primary care and community services said around 30 percent of SARS and MERS-CoV survivors suffered persistent physiological damage and ‘abnormal radiology’ consistent with fibrotic lung disease.
Up to half of the 13,000 patients who have been treated in intensive care face ‘persistent’ physical, cognitive and psychological effects.
Intensive care patients normally take around a year to fully recover, although some never do, immunologist Peter Openshaw said.