Millions of people have reported suffering with coronavirus symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks (Photo: Shutterstock)

Long Covid symptoms: 9 ways to manage recovery from Covid as 1.1m report lasting effects

Symptoms of Covid-19 pass quickly for many people, but in some cases the after effects can be much longer lasting.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 10:48 am

More than one million people in the UK who test positive for Covid-19 still suffer the effects for months later, with symptoms lasting for at least 12 weeks.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that 1.1 million people experienced long Covid during the four weeks to 5 September, up from 970,000 in the previous survey.

The figures mark the largest monthly increase since estimates of self-reported long Covid prevalence were first published in April.

Self-reported long Covid is defined as symptoms persisting for more than four weeks after initial infection that cannot be explained by something else.

The condition was also estimated to be adversely affecting the day-to-day activities of 706,000 people – around two-thirds of those with self-reported long Covid – with 211,000 reporting that their ability to carry out daily activities had been “limited a lot”, the ONS said.

Fatigue was the most common symptom (experienced by 56% of those with self-reported long Covid), followed by shortness of breath (40%), loss of smell (32%), and difficulty concentrating (31%).

Research has also suggested that the prevalence of long Covid increases with age and is typically higher among women, people who are overweight or obese, people who smoke, live in deprived areas, or were admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

The government has provided £50 million of research funding to scientists through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to help better understand the effects of long Covid and ensure the best treatments are available.

Meanwhile, the NHS has opened more than 80 long Covid assessment services across England to support patients with long Covid and similar services have started in Wales. Long Covid services are yet to be announced in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The most common symptoms reported among long Covid sufferers include breathlessness, fatigue and headaches, with others also reporting an increased heartbeat, numbness and ‘brain fog’.

If you have experienced any of these long-lasting effects after a coronavirus infection, the British Heart Foundation recommends following these simple tips to help manage your recovery.

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