- The ONS estimates that some 405,000 Britons have had chronic covid for more than a year
- And last month about one in 50 people suffered from the condition
- But experts warn estimates, based on self-reporting, are potentially exaggerated.
Official figures show that more than 400,000 Britons have been battling covid for more than 12 months.
The Office for National Statistics estimates this to be 0.63 per cent of the entire UK population, or the equivalent of one in 166 people.
Meanwhile, the statistics body calculated that 1.1 million people (1.7 per cent) in the UK in September had long-standing Covid symptoms that lasted a month or more after infection.
Sufferers typically report extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing, loss of smell and problems concentrating, but the condition can cause a range of symptoms.
The figures are based on a survey of 300,000 people and not everyone who claimed they’ve had Covid for a long time tested positive for the virus.
Experts warned today that ONS estimates are likely to be higher due to people linking the condition to common, unrelated illnesses, such as headache and fatigue.
Professor David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, said he ‘didn’t really believe’ the 400,000 figure.
The ONS graph shows the estimated percentage of people currently suffering from chronic covid, based on their profession, in the four weeks leading up to September 5 (green line) compared to the month up to August 1 (blue line). The data shows that those working in health and social care were most likely to suffer from the condition, followed by hospitality workers and civil servants.
The ONS estimates that 405,000 people across the UK have been living with chronic covid for more than a year, while
The proportion of people battling symptoms for more than a year – which the ONS estimates at 405,000 – varied significantly between the different groups.
Women (0.71 percent), white men (0.64 percent) and 50- to 69-year-olds (1 percent) were more likely to suffer from the condition.
Those working in health care (1.46 percent), social care (1.17 percent), hospitality (0.94 percent) and the civil service (0.91 percent) were more likely to have persistent symptoms.
Who was most likely to get long-term COVID that lasts more than a year?
The ONS surveyed around 300,000 people across the UK to estimate how many Britons had been suffering from covid for a long time.
It was estimated that 0.63 percent of the population had the condition for more than a year, but certain groups were more likely to be affected.
Children 50 to 69 years old: 1%
People from North East: 0.9%
From the most disadvantaged areas: 0.7 percent
Healthcare workers: 1.46%
Social care workers: 1.17%
Civil Servant: 0.91%
Those with severe disability: 1.81%
And people in the most disadvantaged areas were at higher risk (0.69 percent) than the least deprived areas (0.53 percent).
Meanwhile, people with a disability that greatly limits their activity (1.81 percent) had longer covids, compared to people without the health condition (0.47 percent).
Overall, the ONS estimates that 37 percent of the 1.1 million people have chronic COVID-19 for at least a year.
And more than three-fourths have been in the condition for at least three months.
Two-thirds say the circumstances affect their daily lives, while one in five say their day-to-day activities are ‘very’ limited.
Fatigue is the most commonly reported symptom, affecting more than half of people.
This is followed by shortness of breath (40 percent), loss of smell (32 percent), and difficulty concentrating (31 percent).
Professor Livermore told MailOnline that long-term Kovid patients will have to be divided into three groups.
The first are those who were so ill with this virus that they were admitted to the ICU.
“If you’re sick enough to get into the ICU, it takes you a long time to recover, whether it’s from COVID or, for example, bacterial pneumonia,” he said.
Second are people who have one or more obvious and persistent symptoms, such as loss of taste, or being unable to walk upstairs without being out of breath, Professor Livermore said.
He said: ‘This is in the form of a post-viral syndrome and one sees such syndrome also following other viral infections, for example with glandular fever.
‘For me, this “long covid” is true. It is clearly related, but not very common. ‘
In the months leading up to September 5 (green bar), the prolonged Covid rate was highest among people aged 50 to 69, followed by those aged 35 to 49. But the greatest increase in the prevalence of long covids was seen between 17 and 24 years. -Olders, only 1.2 percent were suffering from long-lasting symptoms in August, but 1.9 percent were battling the condition by September.
Professor Livermore said: ‘The third largest and by far the least severe group in the ONS, are people who have mild and variable self-reported symptoms.
‘The problem here is, as the ONS recently said, that sometimes symptoms like headache and fatigue are common anyway, whether you have COVID or not.
‘So, the fact that you are feeling somewhat tired is not necessarily a result of the COVID infection you had a few weeks back.
The number of Britons who fall ill with Covid every day is now at ‘highest level since January’
According to the UK’s largest symptom-tracking study, the number of Britons who fell ill with Covid rose nearly 14 per cent last week to a January high.
Scientists at King’s College London estimate that 66,033 people were getting infected every day for the week ending 2 October, a 13.6 percent increase from 58,126 a week ago.
Cases in children are turning a corner but are still high, with nearly one in 30 schoolchildren being infected with the virus – nearly three times the next highest rate among 35- to 55-year-olds.