More than a million people in UK continue to have long Covid

Fatigue was the most common symptom affecting people with the condition, followed by shortness of breath.

Ian Jones
Thursday 02 December 2021 10:37
The latest estimate of 1.2 million is up from 945,000 at the start of July and 1.1 million in early September (Peter Byrne/PA)
The latest estimate of 1.2 million is up from 945,000 at the start of July and 1.1 million in early September (Peter Byrne/PA)

More than a million people in the UK are continuing to experience long Covid new figures suggest.

An estimated 1.2 million people in private households reported having long Covid in the four weeks to October 31.

This includes 862,000 who first had Covid-19, or suspected they had Covid-19, at least 12 weeks previously, while 439,000 first had – or suspected they had – the virus at least one year ago.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are broadly unchanged from a month ago, but are higher than earlier in the year.

The latest estimate of 1.2 million is up from 945,000 at the start of July and 1.1 million in early September.

Prevalence of long Covid among young people has also increased compared with earlier in the year, the ONS found.

An estimated 1.4% of 12 to 16-year-olds experienced long Covid in the four weeks to October 31, the equivalent of 54,000 people – up from 0.9% (35,000 people) in the four weeks to September 5.

The figure for 17 to 24-year-olds is 2.3% (134,000), up from 1.9% (112,000).

Long Covid was estimated to be adversely affecting the day-to-day activities of 775,000 people – nearly two-thirds of those with self-reported long Covid – with 232,000 saying their ability to undertake day-to-day activities had been “limited a lot”, the ONS found.

Fatigue continued to be the most common symptom (experienced by 54% of those with self-reported long Covid), followed by shortness of breath (36%), loss of smell (35%) and difficulty concentrating (28%).

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