London, October 21
The UK government on Wednesday launched a new campaign to highlight the far-reaching impact of “Long Covid”, or the long-term effects of COVID-19, and that it affects people of all ages.
The symptoms of “Long Covid” include fatigue, protracted loss of taste or smell, respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms and mental health problems. They are described in detail in a new film featuring people of different ages as part of the UK’s wider national “Hands, Face, Space” campaign promoting hygiene and social distancing as ways of controlling the spread of coronavirus.
“I am acutely aware of the lasting and debilitating impact Long Covid can have on people of all ages, irrespective of the seriousness of the initial symptoms,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“The more people take risks by meeting up in large groups or not social distancing, the more the wider population will suffer, and the more cases of long Covid we will see. The powerful new film we’re releasing today sheds light on the long-term impact this devastating virus has and should act as a stark reminder to us all,” he said.
It comes as a new study from King’s College London, using data from the Covid Symptom Study App and health science company ZOE, shows one in 20 people with Covid-19 are likely to have symptoms for eight weeks or more. The study suggests Long Covid affects around 10 per cent of 18 to 49 year olds who become unwell with COVID-19.
“The Covid Symptom Study App has released key findings on Long Covid that show that older people, women and those with a greater number of different symptoms in the first week of their illness were more likely to develop Long Covid,” said Dr Claire Steves, clinical academic at KCL and lead scientist at Covid Symptom Study App.
“Around one in seven had Covid-19 symptoms lasting for at least four weeks, with around one in 20 staying ill for eight weeks and one in 50 suffering for longer than 12 weeks,” she said.
According to the latest analysis, most people recover from Covid-19 without needing special treatment and for the majority symptoms will clear after approximately two weeks.
But some of the persistent health problems reported for weeks and months after include continuing headaches, fatigue, respiratory symptoms such as lung inflammation, cardiovascular symptoms such as chest tightness, protracted loss or change of smell and taste and mental health problems, such as cognitive difficulties.
“The evidence is worrying – Covid-19 is clearly having a long-term impact on some people’s physical and mental health. We are moving quickly to stand up rehabilitation facilities and recovery services,” said Health Minister Lord James Bethell.
The National Health Service (NHS) recently announced 10 million pounds to run designated Long Covid clinics in every area across England where respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will all help assess, diagnose and treat thousands of people who have reported symptoms ranging from breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog” to anxiety and stress.
The emotive new film released this week features stories four people aged between 22 and 48, who explain how their lives have been affected – weeks and months after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
They discuss symptoms such as breathlessness when walking up the stairs, intermittent fevers and chest pain. The film aims to raise awareness of the long-term impact of Covid-19 as the world learns more about the deadly virus.
“As we continue to learn more about Covid-19, it is clear that a significant minority of patients are suffering the after effects for weeks or months after contracting the virus,” said Professor Stephen Powis, NHS Medical Director.
Public Health England have found that around 10 per cent of Covid-19 cases who were not admitted to hospital have reported symptoms lasting more than four weeks and a number of hospitalised cases reported continuing symptoms for eight or more weeks after discharge. — PTI
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Haryana) leader Gurnam Singh welcomed ...
Search is on for one of the two pilots who had ejected
492 more deaths reported
In the Amul dairy cooperative structure, farmers get 70-80% ...