More than half of people suffering from long Covid may not have the condition and may just be suffering from normal bouts of ill health, research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests.
The ONS surveyed nearly 27,000 people, who tested positive for Covid, in the UK Coronavirus Infection Survey and used three different methods to estimate the prevalence of long Covid.
In one analysis, they found that five per cent reported at least one symptom 12 to 16 weeks after their infection.
However, the study also found that 3.4 per cent of people who had not been diagnosed with Covid also reported the same long Covid symptoms.
Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, said: “That’s not all that much less than the 5.0 per cent for the infected people, which does show that having one or more of these symptoms isn’t uncommon regardless of Covid-19.”
Normal ailments or long Covid?
Long Covid symptoms are fever, headache, muscle ache, weakness/tiredness, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and loss of smell.
However, the ONS said that such conditions were experienced regularly within the general population.