British Dynasty star Emma Samms, 59, tells of six-month ‘Long Covid’ hell: Actress says her health cruelly ‘fluctuates’ from ‘good days’ when she ‘assumes she’s on the road to recovery… only to go right back to feeling horrendous’

  • The actress tested positive in March but has never been admitted to hospital 
  • She said that tasks such as gardening for a few minutes leaves her exhausted
  • ‘Long Covid’ is becoming more recognised but doctors are unsure how to treat it 

A British actress has told of her ‘Long Covid’ hell that cruelly ‘fluctuates’ from ‘good days’ when she ‘assumes she’s on the road to recovery’ to feeling bad again.

Former Dynasty Emma Samms, 59, who tested positive for Covid in March, has spoken of being one of the ‘long covid’ sufferers.

She reports having ‘panic inducing levels of fatigue’, but has never been admitted to hospital. 

Former Dynasty Emma Samms, 59, pictured, who tested positive for Covid in March, has spoken of being one of the ‘long covid’ sufferers

Doctors don’t know how to treat the condition, nicknamed ‘long covid’ which is becoming more recognised within medical circles.

The actress, who played Fallon Carrington Colby in the 1980s US TV show, has reported debilitating symptoms over the last six months.

Tasks such as holding a phone conversation or gardening for a few minutes leaves her exhausted she told The Times. 

She said:  ‘This panic inducing level of fatigue has been less startling and immensly compromising. And it fluctuates.

‘I improve slightly, have a could of good days and assume I am on the road to recovery only to go right back to feeling horrendous.’

Ms Samms, who is the partner of the BBC newsreader Simon McCoy, said that due to the little research done on the condition she is ‘not allowing’ herself to think this is permanent.   

The actress who played Fallon Carrington Colby in the 1980s US TV show reports having ‘panic inducing levels of fatigue’, but has never been admitted to hospital

Researchers from Italy reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association that 87 per cent of patients discharged from a Rome hospital after having Covid still had at least 1 symptom after 60 days.

Although none of the patients had any signs of acute illness 53 percent still reported fatigue, 43 per cent laboured breathing, 27 percent joint pain and 22 percent chest pain. 

The condition, which is similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, leaves sufferers with multiple symptoms such as extreme exhaustion, joint pain or difficulty breathing.  

Ms Samms, who is the partner of the BBC newsreader Simon McCoy, pictured, said that due to the little research done on the condition she is ‘not allowing’ herself to think this is permanent

ARE THERE LONG-TERM SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19? 

Most coronavirus patients will recover within a fortnight, suffering a fever, cough and losing their sense of smell or taste for several days.

However, evidence is beginning to show that the tell-tale symptoms of the virus can persist for weeks on end in ‘long haulers’ — the term for patients plagued by lasting complications.

Data from the COVID Symptom Study app, by King’s College London and health company Zoe, suggests one in ten people may still have symptoms after three weeks, and some may suffer for months.

Long term symptoms include:

  • Chronic tiredness
  • Breathlessness 
  • Raised heart rate
  • Delusions
  • Strokes
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of taste/smell
  • Kidney disease 
  • Mobility issues
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pains
  • Fevers 

Support groups such as Long Covid have popped up online for those who ‘have suspected Covid-19 and your experience doesn’t follow the textbook symptoms or recovery time’. 

For those with more severe disease, Italian researchers who tracked 143 people who had been hospitalised with the disease found almost 90 per cent still had symptoms including fatigue two months after first falling unwell.

The most common complaints were fatigue, a shortness of breath and joint pain – all of which were reported during their battle with the illness. 

Another study in Italy showed one in ten people who lose their sense of taste and smell with the coronavirus – now recognised as a key sign of the infection – may not get it back within a month.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, involved 187 Italians who had the virus but who were not ill enough to be admitted to hospital.

The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has said the longer term impacts of Covid-19 on health ‘may be significant’. 

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