More than two million in England may have suffered Long Covid, study suggests

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A survey of half a million adults in England suggests around two million people may have had some long-lasting symptoms after having coronavirus – sometimes known as “long Covid”.

The React study shows about a third of people who report they have coronavirus symptoms have one or more symptoms that persist for at least 12 weeks.

Researchers say managing the long-term consequences are a “major challenge”.

The government has provided £50m for research into long Covid.

Long Covid is an emerging phenomenon that is not yet fully understood, and there is no universally-agreed definition.

It covers a broad range of symptoms after an initial Covid infection, including fatigue, coughs, chest pain, headaches and muscle pain.

The survey found:

  • Some 37% of people who said they had Covid experienced at least one symptom lasting 12 weeks or more
  • Almost 15% said they had three or more symptoms for at least 12 weeks
  • Long-term problems were more common in women, and with increasing age
  • Higher weight, smoking, lower incomes, having a chronic illness and being hospitalised with Covid were linked to a higher chance of experiencing long-lasting symptoms
  • Tiredness was one of the most common symptoms, and in people who were severely ill with Covid, shortness of breath was a dominant long-lasting symptom

Read more via BBC