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Home / World News / ‘Long Covid’ can affect the fit and young, warns UK

‘Long Covid’ can affect the fit and young, warns UK

The symptoms of ‘long Covid’ - fatigue, protracted loss of taste or smell, respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms and mental health problems - are described in a new film as part of the wider UK-wide ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign

world Updated: Oct 21, 2020, 16:52 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
A woman is reflected on a window as she leaves a shop in central Sheffield, Yorkshire, prior to further lockdown measures as the number of Covid-19 cases rises.
A woman is reflected on a window as she leaves a shop in central Sheffield, Yorkshire, prior to further lockdown measures as the number of Covid-19 cases rises. (AFP)

Using stories of four individuals – one of them 22 years old – the UK government on Wednesday cautioned against lowering the guard against Covid-19, highlighting the long-term devastating impact of the coronavirus – better known as ‘long Covid’.

The symptoms of ‘long Covid’ - fatigue, protracted loss of taste or smell, respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms and mental health problems - are described in a new film as part of the wider UK-wide ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign.

The emotive film features the stories of Jade, 22, Jade, 32, Tom, 32 and John, 48, who explain how their lives have been affected – weeks and months after being diagnosed with Covid-19, discussing symptoms such as breathlessness when walking up the stairs, intermittent fevers and chest pain.

A new study from King’s College London shows that one in 20 people with the virus are likely to have symptoms for eight weeks or more. It suggests that ‘long Covid’ affects around 10% of 18 to 49-year-olds who become unwell with the virus.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “The findings from researchers at King’s College London are stark and this should be a sharp reminder to the public – including to young people – that Covid-19 is indiscriminate and can have long-term and potentially devastating effects”.

“The more people take risks by meeting up in large groups or not social distancing, the more the wider population will suffer, and the more cases of ‘long Covid’ we will see. The powerful new film we’re releasing today…should act as a stark reminder to us all,” he added.

New figures as part of the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign reveal uncertainty around how long it takes to recover from the virus.

Over a third of people (34%) believe symptoms disappear after four weeks, while 1 in 5 (20%) of the 18 to 34 age group stated they thought this would take two weeks. Over a third (31%) of the same respondents admitted they are unsure how long it would take to recover from the symptoms.

Nearly a third (29%) of people aged between 18 to 34 said they were not aware it is possible to have the virus without displaying symptoms, meaning many people could also be at risk of acting as a ‘carrier’ and passing it on to vulnerable family members.

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