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A survey by the Office for National Statistics has suggested that 1 in 5 people have symptoms of Long Covid 5 weeks after the initial infection, and 1 in 7 have symptoms after 12 weeks. This means that approximately 1.1 million people might have been affected from 6th February to 6th March. The survey also found that 20% of people living with Long Covid said the symptoms made it difficult to do their day-to-day tasks.

The survey asked about whether or not people had symptoms, like fatigue, for more than 4 weeks after they contracted a Covid infection that couldn’t be explained by any other reasoning. The most common problems included fatigue, coughs, headaches, and painful muscles.

Although there’s no official definition of Long Covid, it covers a broad range of symptoms. According to the NHS, these include (as an addition to those mentioned before), shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, brain fog, dizziness, pins and needles, heart palpitations, depression and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and a few others.

An Emerging Phenomenon

The survey found that, in UK households, people aged 35-49 were most likely to report symptoms, which is closely followed by the 50-69 age bracket. Furthermore, women were more likely to report symptoms that persisted for at least 5 weeks after being initially infected.

Health and social care workers had the highest rates of Long Covid, most likely due to a higher chance of coronavirus exposure and a greater awareness of symptoms. In addition to this, people with other pre-existing conditions that limited their day-to-day activities were more likely to report symptoms for Long Covid.

It’s not yet fully understood, however, so the estimates from the ONS are preliminary.

The majority of people who contract coronavirus feel better in a few days or weeks, with the majority making a full recovery within 12 weeks. Unfortunately though, some people’s symptoms last longer – even those who had mild symptoms at first can have long-term problems.

£10million has been invested by the NHS for specialist Long Covid clinics to continue to study this phenomenon. If you have symptoms a month or more after getting the virus, and you’re worried, officials have said you should speak to your GP.

Primal Bite

  • More than 1 million people may have suffered from symptoms of long covid in February
  • The most common symptoms are fatigue, coughing, and headaches
  • Those between the ages of 35-49 were most likely to report symptoms of long covid
  • £10 million has been invested by the NHS for specialist long covid clinics to study it more closely