Young woman lying in bed with a handkerchief on her nose looking into the camera.

Long-Covid — more than 2 million Brits affected

As of June 1st, 2022, Gre­at Britain’s sta­tis­ti­cal aut­ho­ri­ty reports that more than 2 mil­li­on pati­ents suf­fer from the con­se­quen­ces of a SARS-COV‑2 infec­tion, which is 3.1% of the popu­la­ti­on. Accord­ing to the aut­ho­ri­ties, per­sis­tent sym­ptoms of tho­se sur­vey­ed that can­not be attri­bu­t­ed to other rea­sons are con­si­de­red long-Covid.

The sam­ple inclu­des 300,000 respondents. Of the­se, 71% of tho­se affec­ted by Long-Covid repor­ted being limi­ted in their lives by the sym­ptoms. The most com­mon inclu­de fati­gue, short­ness of breath, chro­nic cough and body aches, which last up to twel­ve weeks after a SARS-COV‑2 infection.

In Gre­at Bri­tain the­re are up to 90 cli­nics spe­cia­li­zing in long-Covid, which are expec­ted to inten­si­fy their work. The cur­rent num­ber of peop­le affec­ted is the hig­hest on record. In 2021, the num­ber was esti­ma­ted at around 1 mil­li­on patients.

Causes of long-term symptoms unknown

Spe­cu­la­ti­ons about the rea­sons for Long-Covid are varied. Among other things, an auto­im­mu­ne reac­tion is assu­med, in which the immu­ne sys­tem responds too stron­gly after an initi­al infec­tion and the orga­nism dama­ges its­elf. It is also suspec­ted that the virus dama­ges the blood ves­sels or cau­ses micro blood clot­ting, which impairs oxy­gen trans­port and thus stres­ses the car­dio­vascu­lar system.

Accord­ing to the US Ame­ri­can health aut­ho­ri­ty CDC, long-Covid pati­ents have twice the risk of later breat­hing pro­blems or a pul­mo­na­ry embo­lism. Stu­dies by the CDC repeated­ly show that around 20–30 per­cent of tho­se infec­ted with SARS-COV‑2 suf­fer from long-term consequences.


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