A UK-based population survey has found that 6.7% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 went on to experience Long Covid. This is in addition to those who died, which has varied each month between 0.9% – 5.6% of cases since October 2020.
Also known as post-Covid-19 syndrome, Long Covid’s definition hasn’t been set in stone as yet. In this study, from Imperial College London, researchers used the 12-week mark as an indicator of chronic and ongoing symptoms.
The key finding was that for most people, symptoms tended to decline over the first 12 weeks after contracting SARS-CoV-2. After that time, for those still suffering symptoms, the study authors observed “there was little evidence for decline thereafter.”
Roughly one-fifth of those who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 have symptoms. Around a third of them suffer persistent symptoms.
The main issue people with Long Covid have is fatigue. According to the study authors, “This highlights the needs for greater support for patients, both through specialised services and, for those from low-income settings, financial support.”
Fortunately, the risk of Long Covid does decrease with age, according to this study’s findings. It is also impacted by general health indicators like being overweight or smoking.
A fifth of the English population has had Covid-19
This was the other stark finding from the population survey: 19.2% of the survey reported having tested positive for the virus. This is higher than what is suggested by the confirmed cases metric, which is about 6 million people or 10% of the population.
This most likely reflects under-testing in the general population. Participants in the study self-tested as well as reporting results of any other test results they’d had previously.
The study was based on a survey of approximately half a million people. The survey “was designed to be representative of the adult population.”
Follow Christian on Twitter for more news updates.