Home Business News It’s not too late for snap Easter return to mandatory Covid precautions, says expert, as long Covid cases soar

It’s not too late for snap Easter return to mandatory Covid precautions, says expert, as long Covid cases soar

by David Jinks MILT
12th Apr 22 11:12 am

The leading Covid-19 testing expert, Dr Quinton Fivelman PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at London Medical Laboratory, says long Covid cases have risen to record numbers. That means the Government must consider reimposing some Covid restrictions, such as compulsory facemasks in stores and on public transport, over Easter.

Dr Fivelman warns: ‘The latest data from the ONS reveals a record high in the number of cases of long Covid, 1.7million. That’s up from 1.5 million in February.

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The number of people who have suffered from long Covid for over a year has also surged by 14.4% since February, to 784,000. Of even more concern, 74,000 people in the UK have now had long Covid for two years.

‘Just because many cases of ‘stealth’ Omicron BA.2, the main strain of Covid-19 in the UK currently, appear to have less severe initial symptoms, does not mean a significant number of people won’t go on to develop long Covid. There is no correlation between the severity of the initial illness and the onset of long covid.

‘Covid-19 is not the same as a bad cold, or even the flu. It can inflict longer term damage. For this reason, it’s vital that the Government reimposes some level of Covid control measures over Easter as people visit friends and tourist attractions in their millions. Otherwise, long Covid cases could balloon, at great cost to individuals and the UK economy as a whole.

‘That 1.7 million record figure may actually only be the tip of the iceberg. There is mounting evidence that up to 30% of people who contracted Covid-19 could develop PASC (Post-acute sequelae of coronavirus), commonly known as ‘long Covid’.  A study last year by the University of Washington, found that in a random group of Covid patients – over 80% of whom were outpatients and never hospitalised for the virus – approximately 30% reported persistent long Covid symptoms as long as nine months after illness.

‘Equally concerningly, a new study published in ‘Nature’ this month shows that, even after a mild infection, the overall size of the brain had shrunk slightly in the majority of Covid-19 cases. The overall brain size in infected people had shrunk between 0.2 and 2%.

‘There were losses in grey matter in the areas linked to smell, and regions linked to memory. Those who had recently recovered from Covid found it a bit harder to perform complex mental tasks. This is likely to be a cause of the continuing “brain fog” that many people report post-Covid, which can last for months after their other symptoms have apparently gone.

‘Last week, a study in the highly respected ‘British Medical Journal’ (BMJ) showed that, after a Covid infection, there is an increased risk of developing a serious blood clot for the next six months. The Swedish team found people with severe Covid, and those infected during the first Covid wave of 2020, had the highest clot risk.

‘All of us, including the Health Secretary, are heartily wishing Covid-19 long gone, but that’s wishful thinking. The Government must reverse its foolish decision to cancel free testing on 1 April and reintroduce the mandatory wearing of masks in stores and on public transport before Good Friday.

‘For anyone concerned about their antibody levels and how effective their inoculation has been, taking a quantitative Covid antibody test is recommended. The new generation blood tests available from London Medical Laboratory are highly accurate, quick and simple to carry out, either at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer this test across London and the southeast.

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