Long Covid: What is it and why are some people not recovering?
The Government is facing fresh calls to compensate frontline workers who are suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to recognise long Covid as an occupational disease.
Here is what we know so far about the still-developing, ever-changing condition:
– What is it?
Long Covid, also known as post-Covid syndrome, is used to describe the effects of the virus that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness.
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) define long Covid as “signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with Covid-19 which continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis”.
The condition is associated with a range of symptoms, from fatigue and breathlessness to anxiety and depression.
– How widespread is long Covid?
One in five people who tested positive for coronavirus have gone on to develop longer-term symptoms, according to the most recent estimates.
Data from the Office for National Statistics published in December 2020 suggested around 186,000 people suffer problems for up to 12 weeks.
But research also suggests many patients with long Covid have been unable to properly return to work six months after infection.
Anecdotal evidence indicates children can be susceptible to long Covid as well as adults.
However, there has not been time to glean meaningful data, and long-term research into the condition is continuing.
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