Long Covid: Full list of long Covid symptoms, how long is Covid contagious for, and long Covid treatment

A record two million people in the UK are estimated to be suffering from long Covid, the Office for National Statistics said.

Of this two million, 1.4 million said they first had Covid, or suspected they had the virus, at least 12 weeks previously, while 826,000 first had the virus at least a year earlier. A further 376,000 said they first had Covid at least two years previously.

Long Covid is estimated to be adversely affecting the day-to-day activities of 1.4 million people - around seven in 10 of those with self-reported long Covid - with 398,000 saying their ability to undertake day-to-day activities has been "limited a lot", the ONS found.

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The figures, from the ONS, are based on self-reported long Covid from a representative sample of people in private households in the four weeks to May 1 2022. But what actually is long Covid? Here’s what you need to know.

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What is long Covid?

The length of time it takes for people to recover from Covid varies, with some people being largely unaffected by the virus, while others experience symptoms that can last for months. Once symptoms continue for more than 12 weeks after contracting Covid, it becomes known as long Covid.

According to the NHS website, the chances of having long-term symptoms is not apparently linked to how ill the person was originally.

Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of long Covid.Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of long Covid.
Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of long Covid.

Full list of long Covid symptoms

Fatigue continues to be the most common symptom of long Covid, experienced by 55% of those with self-reported long Covid, followed by shortness of breath (32%), a cough (23%) and muscle ache (23%). The full list of symptoms from the NHS is:

- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

- Shortness of breath

- Chest pain or tightness

- Problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")

- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

- Heart palpitations

- Dizziness

- Pins and needles

- Joint pain

- Depression and anxiety

- Tinnitus, earaches

- Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite

- A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste

- Rashes

How long is Covid contagious for?

Covid is usually no longer contagious 10 days after Covid symptoms begin or 10 days after testing for those who are asymptomatic. People with long Covid are not more contagious than others, nor will they stay contagious for longer.

What long Covid treatment options are there?

You should contact your GP if you experience any of the above symptoms four weeks or more after you believe you’ve had Covid. The next step would be to run some tests to determine the cause of your symptoms, such as blood tests, checking blood pressure and heart rate, or getting a chest X-ray.

Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor will then advise you on the most appropriate form of treatment to help manage your symptoms and recover.

Additional reporting by PA.



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