ARE you suffering from long Covid? How is it affecting your life? Are you receiving the help you need.

Or have you had long Covid and recovered?

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Almost one in seven people who test positive for Covid-19 are still suffering symptoms three months later, according to new UK figures.

The largest study of its kind on long Covid from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found people with coronavirus are significantly more likely than the general population to report ongoing issues, which can include muscle pain and fatigue.

Among a sample of more than 20,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19 between April last year and March this year, 13.7 per cent continued to experience symptoms for at least 12 weeks.

Of those who tested positive, a fifth still had coronavirus symptoms five weeks after their test.

Women were more likely than men to report long Covid at the 12-week point – with 14.7 per cent doing so compared with 12.7 per cent of men.

Prevalence of long Covid was also highest among those aged 25 to 34 (18.2 per cent) than other age groups.

 Dr Zak Uddin Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT.

Dr Zak Uddin Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT.

York Press GP columnist Dr Zak Uddin says: "Long Covid encompasses a variety of complaints both physical and mental, the virus attacking the whole body, not just one organ. It affects the heart and lungs causing chest pains, irregular heart rhythms, continued cough and shortness of breath.

"It has been linked to heart attack, stroke, chest infection and clots in the lung. Involvement of the musculoskeletal system can lead to joint and muscle pain, with reduced mobility. The gastrointestinal tract may succumb to bouts of abdominal pain and diarrhoea. “Brain fog” describes impaired cognition, such that the most basic tasks appear mammoth in nature.

Perhaps as a result of pain and physical disability, or possibly as a separate issue, increased levels of anxiety and depression are reported in those suffering long Covid."

He says the condition doesn’t seem to be related to the severity of the initial infection. Neither hospital admission nor being escalated to an intensive care unit make the syndrome more likely, though it is acknowledged that these can be traumatic events in their own right. Women and children are affected in greater numbers.

He adds that there is strong interest in the links between long Covid and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). "Viral infection is a trigger for the development of ME and it is hoped that research into Long Covid may also help the thousands of ME sufferers."

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