Long COVID continues to affect more than a million people

January 11, 2022

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), an estimated 1.3 million people (2%) in private households in the UK reported having long COVID in the four weeks to 6 December 2021.

Of people with self-reported long COVID, 21% (270,000 people) first had (or suspected they had) coronavirus (COVID-19) less than 12 weeks previously.

Those who first had (or suspected they had) COVID-19 at least 12 weeks previously made up 70% (892,000 people), and 40% (506,000 people) first had (or suspected they had) COVID-19 at least one year previously.

Those in teaching and education also showed greater prevalence of self-reported long COVID. This represents the biggest month-on-month increase out of all employment sectors.

Of the proportion of people with self-reported long COVID whose symptoms adversely affected their day-to-day activities, 20% reported their ability to undertake day-to-day activities had been “limited a lot”.

Fatigue continued to be the most commonly reported symptom, applying to 51% of those with self-reported long COVID. This was followed by 37% with loss of smell, 36% with shortness of breath and 28% who had difficulty in concentrating. The proportions amount to more than 100% because some people have experienced more than one symptom.

As a proportion of the UK population, prevalence of self-reported long COVID was greatest in people aged 35 to 69 years, females, people living in more deprived areas, those working in health care and social care, and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability.

 

This is valid as of 11th January 2022.

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