Estimated 1.3 million in UK suffering long Covid

  • Date: 11 January 2022

AN estimated 1.3 million people in the UK were experiencing self-reported long Covid as of 6 December 2021, according to a survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The analysis was based on 351,850 responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey (CIS) collected over the four-week period ending 6 December. The estimates relate to self-reported long Covid rather than clinically diagnosed ongoing symptomatic Covid-19 or post-Covid-19 syndrome in the full population. 

The ONS survey found that 70 per cent first had (or suspected they had) Covid-19 at least 12 weeks previously and 40 per cent reported infection at least one year previously.

The survey estimates that symptoms adversely affected the day-to-day activities of 809,000 people (64 per cent), with 247,000 (20 per cent) reporting that their ability to undertake their day-to-day activities had been “limited a lot”.

Fatigue continued to be the most common symptom reported (51 per cent), followed by loss of smell (37 per cent), shortness of breath (36 per cent) and difficulty concentrating (28 per cent).

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, social care, or teaching and education (which saw the biggest month-on-month increase out of all employment sectors), and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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