UK: The “long Covid» affects one in seven patients

Nearly one in seven people who tested positive for the new coronavirus in Britain still had symptoms three months after recovering, according to official statistics released today.

According to this study by the National Bureau of Statistics (ONS) for the so-called “Long Covid”, 13.7% in a sample of more than 20,000 people who were infected with the virus between April 26, 2020- March 6, 2021, showed symptoms such as fatigue and muscle aches, for at least twelve weeks.

These prolonged symptoms were more pronounced in women (14.7%) than in men (12.7%) as well as in patients aged 25-34 years (18.2%).

In all, according to the ONS, 1.1 million people in Britain who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or thought they were infected said on March 6 that they had symptoms of “long Covid”. Of those, 697,000 had been infected for the first time at least 12 weeks earlier and 70,000 a year ago.

Expressing “very concerned” by these numbers, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that the British government intended to fund further research “to understand the long Covid”. He also called on citizens to be extra vigilant, as Britain, which has nearly 127,000 deaths from the pandemic, begins to gradually restart its economy.