Let’s talk about Long Covid.
The NHS is defining Post-COVID syndrome, aka Long Covid as ‘people who contract COVID-
19 cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill. Symptoms are
wide-ranging and fluctuating, and can include breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”,
anxiety and stress.’
Despite recently surpassing the two-year mark since COVID-19 entered the UK, Long Covid is
still very much a new condition which the World Health Organisation are continuing to
investigate. With that being said, we do know more than we did last year.
It is common for a patient of Covid-19 will have lingering, persisting symptoms which last
around 90 days. Statistics from ONS has estimated that “over 1.8 million people in the
United Kingdom experienced symptoms lasting more than 4 weeks, 1.3 million people had
symptoms persisting for three months or more, and 791,000 had symptoms lasting over a
year. Some people were still experiencing life-changing symptoms two years later (ONS,
The most common symptoms of long covid are breathlessness, fatigue, and pain. However
Long Covid is an umbrella term used to cover a large range of symptoms that are present for
longer than 90 days. Studies suggest that symptoms occur in discrete clusters. PHE has
reported three instances of clustered symptoms in association with Long Covid:
1. Sensory – Loss of taste, smell, and appetite. Blurred vision.
2. Neurological – Forgetfulness, Short term memory loss, confusion, and brain fog
3. Cardiorespiratory – Chest tightness and pain, severe fatigue, breathlessness after
However, research shows that there is a slight difference in variants, the analysis shows that
double vaccinated people with initial infections compatible with the Delta variant were
50.3% more likely to report long COVID symptoms than those who experienced COVID-19
with the Omicron BA.1 subvariant.