What might long COVID mean for the nation’s health?

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.

Their recent blog published on 1 April 2021 titled “What might long COVID mean for the nation’s health?” explains how the Health Foundation’s COVID-19 impact inquiry team has reviewed emerging evidence on long COVID and summarised their findings to date.

Long COVID (previously known as post-COVID-19 syndrome) is a catch-all term for the experience of symptoms that last weeks or months after the initial viral infection. Studies to date show common symptoms include fatigue, breathlessness and (in more severe cases) organ failure, such as that of the heart and lungs.

In the UK, an estimated 1.1 million (1.69% of the total population) reported symptoms persisting more than four weeks after the first suspected infection – that’s 1 in 5 people who tested positive for COVID-19).

Although there is no specific treatment for long COVID, there are positive signs that people are able to manage their symptoms by drawing on a range of sources such as online help, peer support, complementary therapies, and formal health care.

There is much more to learn about how COVID-19 affects people and what the implications are for the nation’s long-term health.

The blog can be accessed here.

Local VCSE organisations supporting communities with health and social care needs may find this research of interest.