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More than 1m people report Long Covid in UK a year after infection

More than 1 million people in the UK have long Covid at least one year after they were first infected, new figures reveal.

The data, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday, comes as other figures suggest the number of Covid patients admitted to hospital in England is continuing to rise amid a new wave of the virus.

As of 3 September, an estimated 2.3 million people living in private households in the UK – 3.5% of the population – had Long Covid, equivalent to one in every 28 people.

Ondine Sherwood, a co-founder of the advocacy group and charity Long Covid SOS, says the number of people now reporting long Covid – 342,000 of whose lives are “severely impacted” as result – illustrates that this is “not just a personal tragedy but a societal, health and workforce problem”.

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London and expert on long Covid, described the situation as deeply disappointing, noting that while the number of people with long Covid appeared to dip over the summer, it is now clear there is a definite, ongoing, upwards trend.

“This reinforces the message that it’s really foolhardy to imagine we can laugh off a massive, growing BA.5 wave as ‘living with the virus’ and ‘no worse than flu’,” he said. “Long Covid and even long Covid from the 2022 Omicron waves continues to wreck lives in people of all ages. I do wish we could just remind everyone to take this seriously – get boosted, keep indoor meetings well ventilated, wear masks indoors and for travel.”

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Source: The Guardian, 6 October 2022


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