Expert warns long Covid symptoms could spark ‘heartbreaking’ life-long disabilities

Long Covid symptoms could cause people to have disabilities and mental health issues for life, an immunologist has warned.

Professor Danny Altmann said that people suffering with long Covid may face a range of a ‘big problems’ in the years ahead.

The immunologist from Imperial College London said that these problems include potentially driving people out of housing, work or in the worst cases, even suicide.

It has been estimated that 1.5 million people in the UK – which equates to 2.4 per cent of the population – were experiencing symptoms that lasted for more than four weeks following infection.

It is estimated that 1.5 million people in the UK suffer from Long Covid

Professor Altmann has accused the UK of failing to take the condition seriously and called for more to be done to investigate potential treatments and harms of long Covid.

He noted that some people who were infected with the earlier Sars coronavirus were still experiencing symptoms eight years later.

The expert added that it’s ‘heartbreaking’ to see the number of new people seeking help in long Covid support groups.

“It’s kind of an anathema to me that we’ve kind of thrown in the towel on control of Omicron wave infections and have said ‘it’s endemic, and we don’t care any more, because it’s very benign’”, he told The Guardian.

“It just isn’t. And there are new people joining the long Covid support groups all the time with their disabilities. It’s really not OK, and it’s heartbreaking.”

The number of people in Scotland’s hospitals with Covid has now reached its highest level during the pandemic

Did you know you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to our daily newsletter?

We send a morning and lunchtime newsletter covering the latest headlines every day.

We also send coronavirus updates at 5pm on weekdays, and a round up of the week’s must-read stories on Sunday afternoons.

Signing up is simple, easy and free.

You can pop your email address into the sign up box above, hit Subscribe and we’ll do the rest.

Alternatively, you can sign up and check out the rest of our newsletters here.

He added: “This is a global problem. We’ve got at least five million people on the planet with long Covid – very much a lower estimate. And they’ve all got a wide array of problems and they are big problems. It’s going to drive people out of housing, out of work and in some cases, to suicide.”

Scotland is currently in the midst of a resurgence of Covid cases across the country at the moment.

The number of people currently in Scotland’s hospitals with Covid has now reached 2,257 – which is the highest ever recorded during the pandemic.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that around one in 14 people in Scotland had coronavirus in the week ending March 12.

Nicola Sturgeon has said that the latest spike in Covid in Scotland is due to the emergence of the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron – which now accounts for more than 80 per cent of new infections.

But the number of people requiring treatment in intensive care with Covid has remained low and stable, despite a significant uptick in infection numbers in recent weeks.

Vaccination is still believed to be providing Scots with significant protection against the virus.

A recent study from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) also found that vaccinated people are less likely to develop long Covid compared to those unvaccinated.

People who received two doses of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines were about half a likely as people who received one or zero doses to develop symptoms last more than 28 days.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *