Recent research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine has shown that long Covid patients may experience mild organ damage one year after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The study focused on 536 patients with long Covid, 13% of whom had been hospitalized and 32% of whom were healthcare workers. 59% of the patients had impairments in a single organ, and 29% had multi-organ impairment. From six months to a year later, breathlessness in the patients reduced from 38% to 30%, cognitive dysfunction from 48% to 38%, and lower quality of life from 57% to 45%.
In the UK, around 5000 to 10,000 NHS workers may be on prolonged sick leave due to long Covid and many report feeling abandoned by the NHS due to the lack of adequate sick pay. Additionally, over 40,000 nurses in the UK have quit their jobs due to burnout since the pandemic began. An estimated two million people in the UK suffer from long Covid, but there are still no clear methods to diagnose the condition and no medical treatments to tackle it. Patients have complained of doctors dismissing their long-term symptoms post infection.
It is clear that long Covid is becoming a significant issue, with potentially serious impacts on health, quality of life, and the workforce. Further research needs to be conducted into the condition and effective treatments developed, in order to help those affected and prevent the further spread of the virus.