Up to 30,000 people in Liverpool may have suffered with Long Covid

By Nick Tyrrell

Between 14,000 and 30,000 people in Liverpool may have suffered with Long Covid since the start of the pandemic, new analysis reveals.

However, uncertainty over Long Covid symptoms and a lack of data means there is still a high level of uncertainty over exactly how many have suffered in the city or continue to do so.

The city council’s health and wellbeing board is set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the problems posed by Long Covid, with health professionals grappling with how to deal with the issue.

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Long Covid, which the NHS characterises as symptoms from Covid-19 continuing more than 12 weeks after infection, has been reported in people across the globe but the scale of the problem is still largely unknown.

A summary of modelling carried out by the council, which urged readers to treat its findings with “extreme caution”, found that there could be between 14,000 and 30,500 people who have suffered with the issue, depending on the definition used.

The report said: “Using the definition of ‘Ongoing symptomatic COVID-19’ there may have been around 30,500 people in the general Liverpool population who have had ‘Long COVID’ from the beginning of the pandemic until the time of this analysis.

“Using the definition of ‘Post-COVID-19 syndrome’ there may be around 14,000 people in the general population with ‘Long COVID’.

“These data are dynamic as people’s health status changes; these numbers reflect the total number of people likely to have experienced long COVID since the beginning of the pandemic.”

The report’s authors said that the figures provided were likely to overestimate the numbers which require treatment because some will have recovered or don't require further treatment.

They added that the nature of Long Covid and its symptoms made it extremely difficult to diagnose.

The report said: “Many of the symptoms are highly non-specific and overlap with other health conditions, especially with other post viral illnesses.

“An individual could easily be missed as a case if they were never tested for COVID, but an individual could also be mis-diagnosed as having ‘Long COVID’, just due to a history of COVID, when they do not have it.

“The post-COVID-19 syndrome is explicitly a diagnosis through exclusion.”

There are a range of services currently provided for sufferers of Long Covid in our region, with further services currently being commissioned.

Health and wellbeing board members will discuss the report’s findings and debate the region’s response to Long Covid on Wednesday.

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