During the Omicron wave, the chances of having a long Covid were 20 to 50 percent lower than the sharp increase in cases of the Delta variant, the study showed – depending on age and time after vaccination.
Researchers at King’s College London used data from the Zoe Covid Symptom study to conduct the analysis.
Lead author Dr. Claire Steves, of King’s College London, said: “The Omicron variant appears to cause substantially less long-term coagulation than previous variants, but at least one in 23 people with Covid-19 has symptoms for more than 4 weeks.
“Given the number of people affected, it is important that we continue to support them at work, at home and in the NHS.”
The analysis showed that 4.4 percent of Omicron cases were longer than Covid compared to 10.8 percent of Delta cases.
However, the absolute number of people who have had Covid for a long time was higher during the Omicron period, from December 2021 to February 2022, due to the large number of people infected with this variant.
The National Statistics Office estimates that the number of people with chronic Covid has actually increased from 1.3 million in January 2022 to 2 million by May 1, 2022.
Prolonged Covid is defined by the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) as new or current symptoms four weeks or more after the onset of the disease.
Symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of concentration, and joint pain. In addition to affecting daily activities, for some people this condition can be severely limiting.
The study identified 56,003 UK adults who tested positive from December 20 last year to March 9 this year, when Omicron was the dominant strain.
The researchers compared this to 41,361 cases that were tested positive for the first time from June 1 to November 27 last year, when Delta was the dominant option.
The analysis is published in the letter The Lancet.
Long Covid risk “less than Omicron compared to Delta”
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