Two million people struck by long Covid as Govt warns of long-term health impact of pandemic

TWO million Brits have had long Covid, a study has found.

Four in 10 people who had suffered Covid symptoms at some point during the pandemic said they lasted for three months or more.

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This was equal to around six per cent of the population and being a woman, smoker, obese or old all made it more likely that someone would feel ill for a long time.

Tiredness, shortness of breath and muscle aches were the most common effects.

Professor Paul Elliott, an Imperial College London scientist who ran the study, said the mysterious condition is “a major challenge for the health service.”

And researchers still don’t fully understand how well the body recovers from the virus long-term.

In the study the number who said they still had symptoms hit a “plateau” after 12 weeks meaning those people saw their health issues carry on for even longer.

Most people who thought they had caught the virus didn’t feel right for at least a month.


Prof Elliott said: “What is reassuring is that most people have got better by four weeks and a whole lot more have got better by 12 weeks.
“But there is a group of people who continue to have persistent symptoms.”

The Department of Health has pledged to invest £50million in research into long Covid, on top of giving £30m to doctors to help them deal with people suffering from it.

The study was a survey of 500,000 adults in the UK between September and February. A total of 4.65million people have tested positive in the UK since the start of the pandemic.

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