An intensive care doctor is warning people of the frightening effects of "long-term COVID" ahead of lockdown lifting - as he is still suffering symptoms three months on.
Dr Jake Suett, 31, was helping Britain tackle coronavirus for only a week before he developed symptoms on 20 March.
The ICU doctor, who works for the NHS in Norfolk, had no underlying health conditions and went to the gym four or five times a week.
But what first appeared to be tiredness and a sore throat soon turned into a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.
Twelve weeks on, he is still suffering chest pain, breathlessness, blurred vision, memory loss, a high temperature, concentration problems - and is unable to work.
He told Sky News: "I still get out of breath doing the washing up or walking around the house.
"I spent three days just gasping for breath in bed, I really thought I was going to die, it was very distressing.
"Things have improved since then, but not much and only very, very slowly. I've had gastrointestinal symptoms and shooting pains in my hands and feet too."
Public Health England figures show that 19 out of 20 COVID-19 patients recover without needing hospital treatment.
But Dr Suett is part of a Facebook group with at least 5,000 people from across the country who are suffering from what they refer to as "long COVID" - with symptoms lasting as long as 14 weeks.
With no government data available on recovery rates, Dr Suett wants scientists to investigate why thousands are being hit so badly by the virus and whether there is a separate "post-COVID syndrome".
The 31-year-old also claims that with tests so sparsely available at the peak of the pandemic, many who appear to have caught it at the beginning have no proof - but are still experiencing the debilitating effects.
He said: "There are thousands of people who have just been left to suffer frightening symptoms for months.
"I got tested after four weeks because I work for the NHS. It came back negative, but I've still never been so short of breath in my life. I kept thinking, this is not normal, this is not okay, someone needs to be following this."
With pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopening on 4 July, he added: "I can understand people are excited about lockdown easing, but I wish more people knew about us.
"We can't just bury our heads in the sand. We have a group of people saying this is happening and we don't want to increase the size of that group if we can help it."
Professor of immunology at Imperial College London, Danny Altmann, echoed Dr Suett's calls for a scientific study into the potential long-term effects of the disease.
He told Sky News: "There are people out there who are worried and want to know more about this.
"It needs to be firmly on the medical agenda, because we are going to have COVID follow-up clinics for years to come.
"That's going to have a huge impact on NHS manpower and on patients' lives as well."
Asked about how it should effect the lockdown easing, he added: "We have thousands of people reminding us that this might not just haunt us for this summer, but it might haunt people for the rest of their lives."
Lucy Bailey, 32, is in her ninth week of feeling unwell. She says she is still unable to do more than two hours of work from home after her first symptoms came on 27 April.
She said: "There is zero mention of this from the government. People think that if you don't die from it you'll bounce back in two weeks."
Dr Suett is urging people to write to their MPs to raise awareness of patients like him among employers, ministers and healthcare bosses.
He added: "If one in 20 people with the virus are incapacitated and they can't work, that's not good for anyone."
An NHS spokesperson said a dedicated rehab service has been set up for COVID patients.
They added: "While our country emerges from the peak of coronavirus, the next phase of the response will mean expanding and strengthening community health and care services in new ways, as well setting up extra psychological care for staff."
A Department for Health and Social Care spokesman told Sky News that anyone who requires a test can now get one and antibody testing is available for NHS workers who think they may have had the virus early on.