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Around 1.3 million people have long Covid in UK



An estimated 1.3 million people in the UK are now living with long Covid lasting more than four weeks, the latest data has revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as many as 2% of the population were living with long Covid as of 6 December 2021.

The ONS dataset, published today, also indicated that 892,000 first had – or suspected they first had – Covid-19 at least 12 weeks prior, with 506,000 suspecting they had the disease at least a year earlier.

Previously, the number of people with long Covid lasting four weeks had dropped to 962,000 in June from 1.03 million in May and remained relatively consistent over the summer.

However, the number has steadily risen over the autumn and early winter months.

It comes as the number Covid cases continue to grow in England, with 1,281,588 positive tests recorded over the last seven days.

In light of these case numbers, the NHS Confederation today claimed the Government’s latest Covid measures ‘do not go far enough’.

As of last month, 809,000 people reported their long Covid symptoms adversely affected the day-to-day activities, with 247,000 stating their daily life had been ‘limited a lot’.

Fatigue remains the most common symptom reported (51%), followed by loss of smell (37%), shortness of breath (36%), and difficulty concentrating (28%).

Prevalence is highest among 35-69-year-olds, women, people living in more deprived areas, people with a health condition or disability, and those working in health or social care and education, according to the latest data.

Last month, Nursing in Practice looked at the important role that primary care and community nurses have in support patients with long Covid.

A version of this article was published on Nursing in Practice sister publication Healthcare Leader.