Last Friday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data which revealed that almost 400,000 people have been suffering with long COVID symptoms for at least one year after they first got infected. But the organisation estimates that more than one million Brits have been experiencing symptoms of this post-COVID complication in the four weeks leading to 2 May.
Long COVID in children
Victims of long COVID are not just adults. In fact, more and more children and young adults have been reporting symptoms months after recovery as well. According to ONS data, 7.4% of children from the ages of 2 and 11, and 8.2% of adolescents and teens between the ages of 12 and 16, have been living with long-term symptoms of COVID. HuffPost found that the most common symptoms parents were reporting, on an informal survey, were fatigue, sore throat, headaches, and muscle pain.
To tackle this growing problem, the NHS has announced its plan to launch new COVID hubs specifically for children and young people in England. Their aim is to open 15 clinics around the country that can support families, children, and teenagers with the resources they need to get treatment for long COVID.
Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS chief executive announced on Tuesday:
One of the major health challenges emerging from the pandemic is Long Covid with hundreds of thousands of people predicted to suffer debilitating health issues such as breathing problems and fatigue.
That is why the NHS is now going to invest £100 million in specialist services, including care for children and young people so that parents know advice is on hand through the new hubs to provide patients and their families with the help, support and care that they need.
Layla Moran, who has been urging the government to set up measures to combat this issue, said:
This is a victory for campaigners who have faced indifference and even ridicule for suggesting long Covid afflicts children.