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Up to 60,000 in the UK may have suffered from “long COVID” new data suggests

Published on 08/09/20 at 12:14pm
Photo by Mohsen Atayi

60,000 people across Britain may have been suffering from prolonged symptoms of coronavirus months after contracting the virus.

This is according to a Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, who also runs the COVID symptom study which uses a mobile application. Spector says that 300,000 people have reported symptoms lasting more than a month, and up to 60,000 people have reported having it for three months. 

Some of the symptoms are seriously debilitating such as breathlessness and fatigue, forcing some people to use wheelchairs to move around. Others have said the fatigue makes everyday tasks hard and can leave them bedridden. 

NHS England is aware of this problem and has launched a website called “Your COVID Recovery” that offers personalised support, but medical professionals feel more should be done. The Royal College of the GPs has said there should be a national network of clinics to help people who need care and rehabilitation after suffering from “long COVID”. 

Lynne Turner Stokes, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at King’s College London, told The Guardian: “For people who have never been to hospital, nobody’s looked properly at their lungs, their hearts and so on. It’s not safe simply just to say, ‘Go out and do this amount of exercise’ without knowing that they have properly been investigated. It would be very useful if we had more one-stop face-to-face services. And right at this moment, we’re very short of those services.”

Conor Kavanagh

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