ONS data shows fatigue most common symptom of Long COVID

fatigue long covid, muscle ache
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New data finds that fatigue is the most common symptom of Long COVID, followed by shortness of breath and then muscle ache

The ONS data, consisting of self-reported surveys, revealed that 58% of people experienced fatigue as their main Long COVID symptom.

Long COVID remains a mystery, which is slowly being unravelled from various angles by data, researchers and healthcare professionals across the globe. Until a certain amount of time passes, the long-term impact of Long COVID will remain relatively unknown.

At the moment, little is confirmed about why Long COVID takes root. Scientists proposed that the blood-clotting system is directly connected to cases, but this research needs further confirmation.

Professor James O’Donnell, Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI, said: “Millions of people are already dealing with the symptoms of Long COVID syndrome, and more people will develop Long COVID as the infections among the unvaccinated continue to occur.”

What are the most common Long COVID symptoms?

The data reveals that fatigue is at the top, followed by shortness of breath at 42% and then muscle ache at 32%. Difficulty concentrating follows extremely closely to muscle ache, at 31% of people experiencing the symptom.

Among the rarest symptoms of Long COVID are abdominal pain, ongoing fever, nausea and a sore throat.

Which areas are most likely to have Long COVID?

People living in the North East of England were most likely to have Long COVID, followed by those living in the North West. The lowest rate of cases was in Northern Ireland, while London was second to last in levels of Long COVID.

Who is most likely to catch Long COVID?

According to the ongoing REACT study, Long COVID in the UK is most common in women. This is re-confirmed today (2 September) by the new ONS figures, which further confirm that women are most likely to experience Long COVID.

Alongside women, people aged 35-69, people living in the most economically deprived areas, health and social care professionals, and people with an existing disability are most likely to experience Long COVID.

While white people were most likely to report an experience of Long COVID, Black people reported nearly the same amount of cases.


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