Coronavirus: 1 in 10 patients have symptoms lasting three months or more



Article By: Shaun Lintern, Health Correspondent, @ShaunLintern - READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Long Covid

Coronavirus: 1 in 10 patients have symptoms lasting three months or more

The ONS said these patients had elevated rates of heart, kidney and liver disease problems. It added the rates of diabetes and heart disease were particularly high.



One in 10 people infected with coronavirus experience symptoms that last for three months or longer, the Office for National Statistics has said.

A new analysis to try and determine the extent of the ‘long Covid’ problem among infected patients also found one in five patients reported having symptoms that lasted for five weeks or longer.

The ONS said it estimated that during the week ending on 28 November there were around 186,000 people in England living with coronavirus symptoms that had lasted between five and 12 weeks.

This number could be as high as 221,000 the ONS warned.

It said the data was experimental and based on the findings from its infection survey of households.

The data could be the first indication of how prevalent the so-called ‘long Covid’ problem is in society with many patients reporting debilitating symptoms affecting them for many months after recovering from the initial coronavirus infection.

Long Covid patients include those admitted to hospital but also many thousands of patients who were never sick enough to go into hospital and who did not get a positive test result earlier in the year because of a lack of community tests.

Patients have reported multi-organ complications affecting not just their lungs but also their hearts, brains, kidneys and leaving them fatigued and unable to work, exercise or even leave their homes.

Many of those affected by long Covid could be frontline NHS staff and care workers who have been exposed to the virus through their jobs.

The ONS said: “Although this research is in its infancy, we felt it important to publish our early results in order to fill an important gap in the evidence base, and to provide a basis for discussion from which to inform the future direction of the research.

“This is our first attempt at producing these estimates, and the analysis is very much a work in progress. We will seek to further refine the estimates, for example by using more sophisticated statistical techniques to account for the possibility of relapse and, should sample sizes allow, investigate symptoms persisting beyond 12 weeks.”

From next year it will also add a new question to the national survey to ask people to say what the impact of long Covid has been on their day to day lives with an expanded list of symptoms.

Looking at the complications following a diagnosis of coronavirus by analysing patient GP and hospital records the ONS said it had compared adverse events experienced by hospital patients up to the end of September 2020 with similar patients who did not have Covid.

The ONS said these patients had elevated rates of heart, kidney and liver disease problems. It added the rates of diabetes and heart disease were particularly high.



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