More than 1.8 million Britons have suffered ‘prolonged Covid’ after contracting the virus, an official investigation suggested today.
And another 1.36 million people claim they may be affected by the condition, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and difficulty concentrating.
The Office for National Statistics surveyed 39,000 Britons for the study.
It included more than 5,400 participants who tested positive for Covid or thought they were infected during the first wave, when few swabs were available.
Their study also estimated that people who had had Covid for a long time were almost twice as likely to have depression compared to those who had never contracted the virus.
Politicians warned the results showed the long Covid ‘shadow’ was ‘worse than feared’ across the country.
Scientists don’t know exactly how many people suffer from long-term Covid, but it’s thought that one in five survivors is knocked down in some form.
There is currently no medical definition for the condition or treatment. But the NHS has opened dozens of clinics across the country to help patients and provide personalized care plans.
Estimates from the Office for National Statistics showed that 3.6 percent of people said they had suffered from long-term Covid, the equivalent of 1.8 million (red bar). Another 2.6 percent said they weren’t sure if they had the condition, or 1.36 million (yellow bar). The ONS estimates that more than 8 million people in Britain have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic
Long Covid causes debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches and shortness of breath. It is thought to affect about two in ten people who contract the virus
The ONS used the answers from their survey conducted between April and June among people aged 16 and over to estimate the prevalence of long-term Covid in Britain.
More than 5,400 claimed to have been previously infected, representing 8.5 million people in the country.
Of them, 22 percent said they’d had a long Covid experience — or 1.8 million.
And another 16 percent said they weren’t sure if they had the condition, or 1.36 million.
In total, this meant that 3.6 percent of respondents claimed to have had Covid for a long time.
Can Losing Weight Cure Covid?
Being overweight may be one of the main risk factors for long-term Covid, British scientists believe.
They have launched a trial to examine whether losing weight can alleviate symptoms of the poorly understood condition in overweight and obese people.
Glasgow University researchers will recruit 200 Britons who have survived Covid but are weakened months later by lingering symptoms.
Half will be on strict 850-calorie soup and shake diets, and the rest will continue with their regular meals and attend long Covid clinics.
The groups’ symptoms, weight and quality of life should be monitored and compared for six months before adding the remaining patients to the weight loss schedule.
Previous research has shown that infected people with too much body fat are more likely to suffer from Covid for a long time and are at greater risk of serious illness from the virus itself.
Obese people often have underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure and inflammation, that make them more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
The ONS did not say how long a person’s symptoms had to last before they could be said to have the condition.
Also, statisticians did not ask respondents for evidence that they had the disease.
Women were more likely to say they had Covid for a long time (3.9 percent) than men (3.2 percent).
And rates were highest in adults in their 30s and 40s, the same data showed.
The results suggested that people over 70 were the least likely to suffer from the condition (1.5 percent).
The survey also suggested that three in 10 people with the condition said they had moderate to severe symptoms of depression in the last two weeks of the study.
In comparison, the percentage in the population who did not contract Covid was only 16 percent.
A quarter of tall Covid patients said they also had anxiety, compared with 15 percent of those who said they had not been knocked down.
Layla Moran, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Covid, said: “These striking numbers highlight the immense impact that Covid has had on people’s everyday lives for a long time, and the utter inadequacy of the government’s response to date. .
“From people’s mental health to their household finances, the shadow Covid has long cast over our society is even worse than feared.
Boris Johnson’s reckless choice to increase the number of cases risks leaving more people with this debilitating condition, with devastating consequences for the economy and the NHS.
“An urgent strategy is needed to respond to the threat of prolonged Covid and provide support to the thousands of people suffering the long-term effects of this pandemic.”
It comes after scientists berated the prime minister for risking a long Covid wave this week by going ahead with Freedom Day.
No10 threw out most of the remaining restrictions in England, despite infections continuing to rise.
Experts fear that daily cases will break the 100,000 mark within 14 days.
Boris Johnson has put his faith in vaccines to keep hospitalizations and deaths at a low level, even with cases rising.
Nearly nine in ten adults in the country have received at least one shot, which dramatically reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from the virus.
But they don’t work very well to keep people from getting infected.
Scientists say even Covid patients with mild and symptomatic illness can be affected months after beating the virus.
ONS figures also suggested that adults who had suffered from Covid for a long time were twice as likely to be depressed compared to those who did not contract the virus. The chart above shows adults who have had Covid for a long time, a normal infection (Covid for a short time), or who have not contracted the virus because of how the pandemic has affected their lives