Covid warning as more times people get reinfected ‘more likely it is they get unlucky’ and develop long Covid

Symptoms ‘can knock people off their stride for several months’, a WHO official warned

Emily Atkinson
Tuesday 28 June 2022 16:27 BST
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(Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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The more times a person becomes infected with coronavirus, the more susceptible they are to being “unlucky” and developing long Covid, a global health official has said.

David Nabarro, a World Health Organisation (WHO) special envoy for Covid-19, told Sky News on Monday: “The more times you get it, the more likely you are to be unlucky and end up with long Covid — which is the thing that none of us want because it can be so serious.”

“It can knock people off their stride for several months,” he added.

The NHS describes long Covid as the lasting symptoms of the virus that remain after the infection is gone.

Symptoms listed by the health service include a persistent cough, fever, headaches, aching muscles and loss of taste or smell.

Other long-term side effects flagged by the NHS are shortness of breath, feeling more tired than usual, body aches, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and feeling sick or being sick, a sore throat and a blocked or runny nose.

However sufferers have reported other symtoms, including fatigue, ‘brain fog,’ memory loss, lack of concentration, and depression.

Nabarro’s comments come as the number of hospital admissions for Covid-19 in England has risen as experts warn the fifth wave of the virus has already started.

Some 7,822 patients in England had Covid-19 on June 27, up 37 per cent on the previous week, NHS figures show.

It is the highest total for nearly two months but is still some way below the peak of 16,600 patients during the Omicron BA.2 wave.

Professor Tim Spector, of the ZOE Covid symptom study app, said: “We’re in a wave at the moment,” he said, “heading towards a quarter of a million cases a day, that’s a wave already.”

The latest figures show 1.7 million people are testing positive across the UK, a 23 per cent increase on the week before.

Scientists believe the dramatic rise in cases is due to new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 which have mutated further, thus are able to evade immunity more.

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