An analysis done by a UK-based institute pointed out that the risk of lingering Covid-19 symptoms post-infection appeared to be influenced by the strain of coronavirus which caused the infection. The analysis was published after reports emerged that close to 1.8 million people suffered from long Covid in early April.
The analysis published by the Office for National Statistics and accessed by Bloomberg shows that the chances of suffering from fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating and other persistent symptoms were 50% lesser in cases where the infection was caused by the Omicron variant when compared to the Delta variant.
The above finding was observed in adults who were double vaccinated when infected.
However, it was also seen that in adults who have received three shots of the vaccine, the chances of them suffering from long Covid were higher following infection from the Omicron BA.2 variant, compared to BA.1 variant.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) defines long-Covid as: “Signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19 but continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. It usually presents with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping, which can fluctuate and change over time and can affect any system in the body.”
At least 1.2 million people who self-reported long Covid said that their symptoms caused hindrances in their day-to-day activities. While a fifth of the 1.8 million people surveyed said that these symptoms put a lot of limitations on how they led their daily lives.
Though the symptoms are not life-threatening, long Covid can cause serious discomfort and affect the rehabilitation of the person suffering from it. News agency Bloomberg quoting the US Government Accountability Office’s March report said that long Covid can affect the economy as it will decrease labour participation while creating an increased need for use of Social Security disability insurance and other publicly subsidised insurances.
There are also three-other separate studies which showed that ‘long COVID is common enough to be a major public-health threat, independently of acute COVID’. It is more common in women than men but there is no consistent relationship with age.