Millions living with long Covid in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – worst affected regions

An estimated 2.1 million people in the UK were experiencing self-reported long Covid symptoms in December.

Millions of people in the UK are living with long Covid, new figures published today (5 December) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

An estimated 2.1 million people living in private households in the UK were experiencing self-reported long Covid symptoms as of 4 December, representing 3.3% of the population or around 1 in every 30 people. These are symptoms continuing for more than four weeks after first confirmed or suspected infection that were not explained by something else

The most common self-reported symptom of long Covid was fatigue (71%), followed by difficulty concentrating (49%), shortness of breath (47%) and muscle ache (46%).

The figures also show self-reported long Covid was most prevalent in people aged 35 to 69 years, females, people living in more deprived areas, those working in social care, those aged 16 years and over who were not working and not looking for work, and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability.

The figures are based on 236,142 responses of self-reported long Covid symptoms gathered by the ONS and do not necessarily mean individuals have been clinically diagnosed.

The report comes as the NHS continues to run under extreme pressure, with thousands of beds occupied by Covid and flu patients. The government has been urged by health chiefs to declare a national major incident.

Additional figures from the ONS also suggest Covid infections are on the rise across parts of the country. In its latest Infection Survey it found the percentage of people testing positive for Covid continued to increase in England.

Here we reveal how many people in each region of the UK have self-reported long Covid.

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