More than 1 million reporting long Covid symptoms, ONS data shows

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The Office for National Statistics has found that more than one million people living in the UK are experiencing persistent symptoms following infection with COVID-19.

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In its latest survey of private households as of 5 September, the ONS estimated that 1.1 million people had prolonged COVID symptoms for more than four weeks after infection.

Of those with self-reported symptoms, the ONS said 405,000 people had been suffering from the problem for at least a year since becoming infected.


More than 830,000 people said they still had symptoms for at least 12 weeks after being infected.

Of these, the ONS found that 211,000 people were reporting their ability to perform day-to-day activities was being “very limited” by their symptoms. More than 706,000 people said the problems were affecting their daily lives to some degree.

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The ONS also warned that the prevalence of symptoms in the latest survey showed long COVID symptoms to be “particularly high among young adults aged 17 to 24” and among those working in the hospitality sector.

This is probably linked to the easing of lockdown rules and the slow roll out of vaccinations for young people.

The ONS data is based on self-reporting of people rather than being clinically diagnosed with a specific condition, but several research studies have shown that patients with aspects of long-term covid have severe physical damage to their organs. as well as less defined symptoms such as fatigue and ‘brain fog’.

Fatigue was the most common symptom, with 56 percent of people including it in their response. After this 40 percent reported shortness of breath and a third reported loss of smell. Overall 31 percent said they now have difficulty concentrating.

As a proportion of the UK population, the prevalence of self-reported chronic Covid was found to be higher among people aged 35 and 69, women and people living in more disadvantaged areas, as well as those working in health or social care, and others. People with activity had the highest- limiting health condition or disability.

NHS England has set up more than 90 long COVID clinics to help people with persistent symptoms after a Covid-19 infection, but there is still a lack of consensus on what the definition of long COVID is and the treatment of patients. What would be the type? need.

A review from the National Institute for Health Research has found that long-term covids can be made up of several different syndromes, which may require treatment in different ways.


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