Home / News / India /  Long Covid risk from Omicron lesser than Delta but..: Study reveals when symptoms can be severe
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The long COVID risk is much lesser for patients who have been infected with Omicron as compared to the Delta variant, a UK study on the topic has revealed. In fact, the odds of experiencing long COVID were between 20-50% less during the Omicron period versus the Delta period. However, this depends on the person's age and vaccination status. The study has been published by researchers from King’s College London. 

What are the chances of catching long COVID from Omicron?

“The Omicron variant appears substantially less likely to cause long COVID than previous variants, but still one in 23 people who catch COVID-19 go on to have symptoms for more than four weeks," said lead author of the study, Dr Claire Steves from King’s College London. Long COVID is defined as having new or ongoing COVID symptoms four weeks or more after the start of the disease.

“Given the numbers of people affected it’s important that we continue to support them at work, at home and within the NHS [National Health Service]," she said.

The research is based on the first peer-reviewed study to report on long COVID risk and the Omicron variant.

What is long COVID?

Some COVID patients may develop certain complications that could torment them for months. Doctors term these symptoms as long COVID.

What are the symptoms of long COVID?

One of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 is loss of sense of smell and taste. And, a quarter of the patients, who have lost their smell because of Covid, do not get it back for months after the initial recovery.

Other long COVID symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of concentration and joint pain and these are said to adversely affect day-to-day activities, and in some cases can be severely limiting.

Patient surveys suggest a range of other symptoms may also be present, including gut problems, insomnia and vision deterioration.

King’s College London studied 56,003 British adults infected between December 2021 and March this year, when Omicron was dominant, comparing them with 41,361 cases when Delta was prevalent.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that five per cent of people reported at least one long COVID symptom 12 to 16 weeks after a coronavirus infection.

(With inputs from agencies)



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