According to a report provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in ten coronavirus survivors suffer lasting symptoms even three months after beating the illness. Their report on ‘long Covid – a wide range of symptoms which linger months after the original’ was cleared up.
The data revealed that 9.9 percent British citizens who survived the coronavirus still suffered from lasting effects of the disease even after 12 weeks. Another 21 percent reported persistent symptoms after five weeks of clearing the initial infection, with the most common being fatigue, headaches and persistent cough.
Their data also revealed that chances of heart attacks and strokes were 12 times higher among people hospitalised with Covid, compared to non-virus patients. Most of the patients affected by the virus recover within 15 days, however they suffer from a fever, cough and lose their sense of smell or taste for many days. But the data suggests that the virus can persist for weeks among those recovered patients whom the researchers call ‘long haulers’ (long Covid).
Experts now believe these symptoms are after-effects on the coronavirus, due to the damage caused to the organs, immune system etc. Doctors have compared it to post-polio syndrome which is also a poorly understood condition that can develop even after a decade after the initial infection. However, the ONS officials remain clueless as to exactly how many people currently are patients plagued by lasting complications, but campaigners state it could be up to 500,000 in the UK.
Researchers and scientists say they have noticed two main types of long Covid, one those who showed visible damage to their organs which include scarring on their lungs, hearts muscles or even neurological damage. However, these patients were a minority group who had suffered a very serious bout of the virus. But majority of long haulers do not have any measurable damage to their bodies and the researchers are still unsure what is causing their symptoms.
Other long-standing symptoms that have been reported by Covid-19 survivors, including suspected and confirmed, are hearing problems, memory loss, brain fog, lack of concentration, mental health issues and hair loss.
The data released earlier by ONS was based on a survey conducted on 8,193 Brits who had tested positive for coronavirus between April and the start of December, 2020. The respondents were asked to reveal what continuous symptoms they suffered after clearing the illness. The data also revealed that the long haulers on an average endured lasting symptoms for 40 days.
Their data also suggests that diabetic, chronic kidney and liver disease all of which can be fatal were also higher. And similar discrepancies were also noticed in patients who were critically ill during their stay in hospital. It also showed the rate of attacks among these patients was 112.4 per 1,000 in Covid group and 20.6 in the control patients.
They now fear the negative effects could continue for an extended period causing long Covid.