Long-term symptoms that could affect Scots after Omicron infection
Scotland is still going through the worst of the Omicron wave at the moment - with daily Covid cases continuing to reach record highs during the pandemic.
Nicola Sturgeon told Scots earlier this week that infection numbers remain very high across the country.
But the First Minister said there is hope amid some 'encouraging' data that has been released in recent days.
There have also been a number of studies that suggest Omicron is milder than previous variant - with Scots said to be two-thirds less likely to require hospital treatment after Omicron infection.
Little is known about the impacts Omicron will have on so-called ‘long Covid’ where patients suffer with symptoms for a lengthier period of time.
In November last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that around 1.2 million people in the UK experienced self-reporting long Covid.
Here is everything we know about long Covid, and the Covid symptoms still affecting a large number of people across the UK.
Symptoms of long Covid
While the majority of people recover from Covid infection in a short space of time, some continue to suffer symptoms that can last for a few weeks or longer.
This has been referred to by medical experts as long Covid - and the symptoms are not limited to people who were seriously unwell or hospitalised with coronavirus.
Signs and symptoms of so-called long Covid can differ between person to person. The most common symptoms listed by NHS Scotland include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Sleep problems
- Loss of smell or taste
- Low mood
- Brain fog
Ways to deal with symptoms
NHS Scotland has listed a number of ways in which Scots can help themselves get through the symptoms of long Covid.
To improve their physical and mental health, health officials say it is important to:
- Listen to your body
- Prioritise sleep
- Eat healthily
- Balance activity and rest
They also recommend setting realistic goals throughout your recovery, keeping a symptom diary and having someone to contact if you continue to be worried about your symptoms or need that extra bit of support.
If required, Scots can consult with their GP who will give them advice on any additional services needed to help you along the way - such as physiotherapy and psychology.
The NHS also suggest speaking to your employer if you feel like you’re not ready to return to work due to long Covid symptoms.
Do vaccines help against long Covid
NHS Scotland say that it is not yet known if vaccines have any impact on long Covid, but they have recommended that you roll up your sleeve once you are called.
There have been some reports that being vaccinated against Covid could cut the risk of an infection turning into long Covid.
A report, which was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases in September last year, found that the odds of developing symptoms that last longer than four weeks are cut by 50 per cent when people are double jabbed.
Vaccines will also help reduce the risk of further infection and also the chances of you becoming seriously ill with the virus.