According to research, Omicron’s long-Covid risk is lower than Delta’s

Researchers at King’s College London have found that the Omicron variant is “significantly less likely than other variants to cause long Covid” in a new study.

People seem less likely to get long Covid with the Omicron variant
People seem less likely to get long Covid with the Omicron variant

The Omicron variant is less likely to cause long covid than the Delta strain, new research suggests.

The study found that the odds of staying ill with Covid for a long time were between 20% and 50% lower during the Omicron period compared to the Delta period, depending on age and time since vaccination.

Analysis of the impact of different variants on people with long-term Covid was carried out by researchers at King’s College London using data from the Zoe Covid Symptom Study and published in The Lancet.

The lead author Dr. Claire Steves, of King’s College London, said: “The Omicron variant appears significantly less likely to cause long Covid than previous variants, but still one in 23 people who contract Covid-19 has symptoms for more than four weeks.

“Given the number of people affected, it is important that we continue to support them at work, at home and within the NHS.”

Omicron was between 20% and 50% less likely to have long-term Covid than Delta


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The analysis showed that 4.4% of Omicron cases turned out to be long-Covid compared to 10.8% of Delta cases.

But the absolute number of people long ill with Covid was higher during the Omicron period, as large numbers of people became infected with the variant from December 2021 to February 2022.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that the number of people with long Covid has actually increased from 1.3 million in January 2022 to 2 million as of May 1, 2022.

Long Covid is defined by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) guidelines as new or persistent symptoms four weeks or more after the onset of the disease.

With Long Covid, people continue to have symptoms of the virus more than four weeks after they were first contracted


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Symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of concentration and joint pain.

In addition to interfering with everyday activities, the condition can also be severely disabling for some people.

The study identified 56,003 adults in the UK who tested positive between December 20 last year and March 9 this year, when Omicron was the dominant strain.

The researchers compared these to 41,361 cases that first tested positive between June 1 and November 27 last year, when the delta was the dominant variant.

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