For about 1 million people in the UK, Covid-19 is a persistent reality. They still feel tired, short of breath, cognitive disorders and other health problems.
While the country is preparing to lift virtually all restrictions despite the increase in Covid-19 cases, scientists fear that the number of people impacted by the call “Long Covid” go up much more.
To better understand the subject, the UK National Institute of Health Research announced on Sunday about 20 million pounds ($27.5 million) in funding for 15 studies looking at the causes of long-running Covid and its impacts on physical and mental health.
With the rapid immunization campaign, the UK fully vaccinated 53.2% of the population, according to the vaccines of Bloomberg, leading the government to declare that the relationship between cases and hospitalizations has been “weakened”. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, says citizens must learn to live with the coronavirus.
But millions still remain vulnerable, and those who have been struggling with symptoms for weeks, months – or more than a year – say the long-running Covid threat has not received the government’s attention as authorities focus on case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths.
With the spread of the delta variant, considered more contagious, other countries trying to manage the next phase of the pandemic will likely face a similar dilemma.
“When the government talks about openness, there are no references to long-running Covid,” said Christina Barratt, 51, a former sales manager in Manchester who first experienced Covid’s symptoms in late March 2020.
With the prioritization of vaccination of older vulnerable groups, a smaller percentage of British youth were immunized in time for the end of restrictions. This worries Barratt. “Young people feel invincible, but it can really happen to anyone,” he said.
Barratt said she was bedridden for months after contracting Covid and sometimes felt so weak she couldn’t even move. Sometimes, she said, she felt as if she were in a coma even though she was awake. During this period, Barratt lost his job and, since then, he has faced new symptoms, such as numbness, tingling and chronic fatigue.
For Barratt, one of the biggest difficulties is communicating his situation to others, including doctors and even family and friends. “Illness becomes part of who you are,” he said.
While the government defended its plan, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said cases could run as high as 100,000 a day, and England’s medical director Chris Whitty warned that more people could have long Covid, especially the longer ones. young. On Friday, the UK did not rule out resuming some restrictions later in the year if cases get out of hand.
An Imperial College London study published in June found that 38% of people who contracted the coronavirus reported one or more symptoms that lasted at least 12 weeks. Researchers estimate that, overall, more than 2 million adults in England may have had long Covid.
Funding announced on Sunday will help explore the many symptoms of long Covid, from oxygen absorbed by the lungs to brain function and the level of care and support that should be provided.