Matt Hancock warns the entire population is at risk of “long Covid”


Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the “thousands of people suffering from long-term Covid” stressed that the virus did not attack only the elderly.

60,000 people of all ages in the UK are believed to be suffering from the long-term effects of the coronavirus, which persist after the original illness has subsided.

Speaking at the Downing Street briefing tonight, Mr Hancock said it showed how the ‘virus can strike us all, and we must all do our part to fight back’.

He said even young and healthy people suffered from symptoms months after their coronavirus illness. These include fatigue, shortness of breath, and brain problems.

Mr Hancock confirmed that at least 43 NHS mini-hospitals are to be created in England to help those suffering from long-term Covid.

The centers will provide support to as many as 500,000 people believed to be suffering from the prolonged effects of the virus, including shortness of breath, fatigue and anxiety. He said up to 40 of them will open next month,

Matt Hancock said ‘several thousand long-term Covid sufferers’ show virus can ‘strike all of us’

Ten sites are already set aside in the Midlands, seven in the North East, six each in East England, South West and South East, five in London and three in the North West.

A person will need a referral from a general practitioner or other healthcare professional to access the service.

About 5% of those who contract coronavirus show symptoms that last 12 weeks or more, according to a study from King’s College London. This is double that of those under 50.

More than two-thirds of people hospitalized with the virus suffer from debilitating symptoms more than seven weeks after discharge, according to a study published in the medical journal Thorax.

Mr Hancock said: ‘[The] The threat does not only affect the oldest and most vulnerable people, but also everyone of all ages and backgrounds.


Covid-19 is described as a short-term illness caused by infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Public health officials tend to say people will recover in about two weeks.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is not the case for everyone and that the two week period is only the “acute illness” phase.

The North Bristol NHS Trust’s Discover project, which studies the long-term effects of the coronavirus, found that of a total of 110 patients who underwent a three-month examination, most (74%) had at least a symptom that persists after twelve years. weeks. The most common were:

  • Fatigue excessive: 39%
  • Shortness of breath: 39%
  • Insomnia: 24%
  • Muscle pain: 23%
  • Chest pain: 13%
  • Cough: 12%
  • Odor loss: 12%
  • Headache, fever, joint pain and diarrhea: each less than 10%

Other long-term symptoms that have been reported by survivors of Covid-19, both suspected and confirmed, anecdotally, include hearing problems, “brain fog”, memory loss, lack of concentration, mental health issues and hair loss.

The impact of Long Covid on people with mild illness has not yet been fully studied.

Data from the King’s College London symptom tracking app shows that up to 500,000 people in the UK are currently suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19.

In October, scientists claimed that Long Covid could actually be split into four different syndromes.

Academics at the National Institute for Health Research – led by Professor Chris Whitty – have been asked to examine the limited evidence along Covid to help patients and doctors understand the ‘phenomenon’.

Their results warned that even children can suffer and it cannot be assumed that people at low risk of serious illness and death from Covid-19 are also at low risk of lasting side effects.

Doctors have warned that some mental health issues such as anxiety and depression in “long haul,” as they are called, could be due to lockouts, as opposed to the virus itself.

Experts also claimed that symptoms can be grouped into four different groups:

  • Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS)
  • Post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS)
  • Permanent organ damage (POD)
  • Long Term Covid Syndrome (LTCS)

“We have already seen the serious impact that Covid can have for a long time on the quality of life of people, even the form and the young.

“Symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath, muscle pain and neurological problems, long after the virus was first infected. And we’ve known for a long time that Covid affects thousands of people, thousands of people.

He added: “We have already opened long Covid clinics in many parts of the country. I am very happy to confirm that the NHS will have a network of 40 long Covid clinics across England by the end of the month.

“They will bring together doctors, nurses, therapists and other NHS staff, such as physiotherapists, to help those suffering from the long-term effects of the coronavirus. Long Covid shows this virus can strike all of us, and we all need to do our part to fight back, by following the rules and denying the virus the connections it needs to spread

“I know it hasn’t been easy.

After the announcement of the long Covid clinics on Sunday, Sir Simon Stevens, managing director of NHS England, said: ‘Long Covid is already having a very serious impact on the lives of many people and may well continue to affect hundreds of thousands of people. .

“This is why, while treating a growing number of patients with the virus and many who do not, the NHS is taking action to treat those with ongoing health problems. “

It follows a study from King’s College London which found that older people, women and people with a number of different symptoms in the early stages of their illness were more likely to develop long-term Covid.

One in 10 was still unable to get rid of side effects eight weeks after infection, according to the study.

Covid research for a long time has reported a huge list of issues including excessive fatigue, shortness of breath, insomnia, muscle pain, chest pain, cough, loss of smell, headache, fever , joint pain and diarrhea.

Because the problems span multiple areas of health, treatment will vary between those in need of physical therapy, medicine, and psychotherapy, experts say.

For example, those who complain of “brain fog,” causing difficulty concentrating, concentrating and remembering, may receive some form of cognitive therapy.

While those who suffer from muscle pain would probably get help from a physiotherapist.

Details on how the clinics work and where the health professionals come from have not yet been described.

In October, researchers said symptoms of the long Covid appeared to divide into four syndromes requiring different treatment.

One of them was organ damage, which the National Institute for Health Research team said was most common in the lungs and heart.

The other three syndromes were post-intensive syndrome (PICS), post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), and long-term Covid syndrome (LTC) – a range of ‘floating’ symptoms that are difficult to categorize.

Health officials have previously estimated that 60,000 people could be suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19, while a Facebook support group has at least 35,000.

Dr Elaine Maxwell, senior author of the NIHR review, said the exact figure is not clear.

But she added: ‘It’s reasonable to assume that this is more important than what people have already estimated, as many people have not taken a Covid test and have therefore been excluded from the assessments.

“It’s important and it will be a big burden on the NHS.

“There will likely be an increase in the number of people with Long Covid in the coming months.


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