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Long-Haul COVID symptoms: A Stark Statistic

covid Jan 07, 2022


Research by Dr. Daniel Weber

CEO Panaxea International Inc. (

 A multi-center study suggests that fewer than 30% of patients hospitalized with acute COVID had fully recovered a year later. It’s a stark statistic – yet this study did not account for the significant number of us who were never admitted to the hospital and have still not fully recovered.

The most recent UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) data [1] from October reports that 1.2 million people are living with long COVID (in hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients); 36% of those have had it for more than a year, with the greatest prevalence in health and social care workers, and people living in more deprived areas. Of people with self-reported long COVID, 232,000 (19%) first had (or suspected they had) COVID-19 less than 12 weeks previously; 862,000 people (71%) first had (or suspected they had) COVID-19 at least 12 weeks previously, and 439,000 (36%) first had (or suspected they had) COVID-19 at least one year previously.

The proportion of people with self-reported long COVID who reported that it reduced their ability to carry out daily activities remained stable compared with previous months; symptoms adversely affected the day-to-day activities of 775,000 people (64% of those with self-reported long COVID), with 232,000 (19%) 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 as part of individuals’ experience of long COVID (54% of those with self-reported long COVID), followed by shortness of breath (36%), loss of smell (35%), and difficulty concentrating (28%).

Long COVID is a complicated, multi-system disease, whose pathological processes have yet to be fully understood, making treatment difficult. This is further compounded by the diverse range of symptoms, so there is no “one size fits all” treatment. Health professionals have been extrapolating treatment strategies from other diseases, but management is not consistent between clinics. A current study [2] aims to address this lack of standardization by producing a “gold standard” for care, and a recently updated its guidance to include individualized treatment plans for those with long Covid [3].

Long COVID isn’t going away soon. Post-viral syndromes are not new, but we have never seen anything on such a scale. Who knows how my body would react this time? It seems so strange that, as a consultant in infectious diseases, I’ve had to sit out the entire pandemic from the sidelines, when I should have been playing a vital role [4].


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