This is due to the long COVID – also known as post-COVID-19 syndrome – which is characterized by symptoms lasting more than 12 weeks. Even those who suffer from mild symptoms at first can experience long-term problems. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday show that at least 1.3 million people in the UK have suffered from COVID for a long time.
The figures, which cover Nov. 9 to Dec. 6, suggest symptoms for an extended period are reported more frequently in the 35 to 69 age group.
ONS data on self-reported cases also showed more women suffering from the disease, as well as those in the health and social services or education sectors.
The data shows that around 2% of the population suffered from a long COVID in early December.
Symptoms include fatigue – the most common – shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, insomnia, difficulty remembering or concentrating, and chest pain.
Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor at the University of Leeds and a guest member of the independent SAGE panel, told Express.co.uk that the disease can affect any age group.
He said: “We are going to have issues here with the long term health issues caused by the long COVID, even in children.”
There is little data available on how long COVID has an impact on children, but some studies have suggested that significant effects are possible in younger people who are infected.
A study published in September 2021, but not yet peer reviewed, suggested that up to one in seven children with COVID-19 could still show symptoms of the disease 15 weeks later.
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“Children can have COVID for a long time, and hospitalizations for minors have increased more and more since the summer. They will probably get even worse now.
“So it’s not a case that some people say these vaccines are approved in children to protect adults.
” It is not the case at all. That’s part of it, but you absolutely need to immunize children to protect them as well. “
With the surge in COVID-19 cases, Dr Griffin is adamant vaccination alone is not enough on its own to curb cases.
He added that the NHS remains “under immense pressure from this Omicron wave”, and action is needed to act “preemptively” to stop the spread of the virus.
Dr Griffin said the government should act to “prevent, rather than wait and see if it gets out of hand,” pointing to the exponential growth of this virus.
He added: “If we let it and if we sit down and watch and monitor the data, the moment we realize that there is something we need to do, it is too late and it is out of control. “
He criticized how pressure on the health services is used to determine whether restrictions are needed to reduce hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units.
He said: ‘Just using NHS metrics to be able to cope, for me, is not really good public health policy.
“Good public health policy is about preventing damage, preventing infection and keeping people from dying.
“And we see thousands of people dying every week.
“So it doesn’t work just by basing your policy on the NHS having enough beds for people to get sick. It doesn’t wash off with me.
“I’m afraid you have to do something to prevent these people from getting sick in the first place. “