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Long Covid cases up in UK

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KiwiMum View Drop Down

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    Posted: March 03 2022 at 11:27am

Number of long Covid cases up by almost 200,000 in a month

People in mid to late 30s and 40s most likely to be impacted – a reflection of working age infections during omicron wave 

The number of people suffering long Covid symptoms in Britain has jumped by nearly 200,000 in a month, with 35 to 49-year-olds now the most likely to report ongoing problems.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 1.52 million people – one in 41 – were experiencing at least one symptom four weeks after recovering from an infection, an increase of 15 per cent from 1.33 million last month.

People in their mid to late 30s and 40s were the most likely to be impacted – a reflection of how many working-age younger groups became infected during the omicron wave.

Nearly a million people in Britain said long Covid was negatively affecting their daily lives, while 685,000 said they were still experiencing symptoms more than a year after recovering from the virus.

The figures show that 1.1 million (71 per cent) had been struggling with symptoms for at least 12 weeks since an infection.

Self-reported long Covid is defined as symptoms persisting for more than four weeks after a first suspected virus infection that could not be explained by something else.

Although it is still not fully understood, many people continue to experience debilitating symptoms after a Covid infection, including extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain, memory problems, insomnia, heart palpitations, dizziness and joint pain.

Fatigue continues to be the most common symptom – experienced by 51 per cent of those with self-reported long Covid in the ONS survey – followed by shortness of breath (35 per cent) and loss of smell (34 per cent), with a quarter of people continuing to experience loss of taste and having difficulty concentrating.

Some 281,000 (18 per cent) reported that their ability to undertake day-to-day activities had been "limited a lot" by symptoms.

The ONS said prevalence was greatest in people deprived areas, those working in teaching and education, social care or healthcare, and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability. These groups also align with those most at risk from Covid in general.

Women were also found to report more symptoms, although studies have shown that they are generally better at spotting symptoms for most illnesses. 

"Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about." ~ David Eddings
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