A health expert said that 10 to 20% of coronavirus cases resulted in people reporting long-term Covid symptoms.
Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said the number of 20 people with long covid reported by King’s College London in October was “a little low”.
He said on Times Radio, “A lot of people would have 10-20% coverage if you looked at the newspapers, as many people were still reporting significant symptoms a few months later.”
Prof. Altmann calls for long Covid clinics to be opened in Great Britain.
Long Covid reports that six to 12 months after getting infected with Covid, people report debilitating symptoms – including extreme fatigue, confusion, and headaches.
“Britain got it pretty quickly (long Covid), the problem is realizing it and doing something that isn’t necessarily the same thing,” he told Times Radio.
Prof. Altmann said he spoke out in favor of long Covid clinics at a World Health Organization meeting earlier this week, adding, “The point I wanted to make was really a call to arms for some really good solid research and mechanisms here because it doesn’t make sense I only have the banner above the clinic if we don’t have the doctors sitting in them.
Prof. Altmann warned that Covid would pose an additional burden for the NHS for a long time.
He was asked on Times Radio if Covid would become less of a problem for a long time as fewer people get coronavirus, to which he replied, “Probably not”.
He said, “I think the rule of thumb for me right now, considering the long Covid cases, is that there is no absolute correlation with the severity of your first attack.
“So there are a lot of people out there who barely know they had it and never had a PCR or antibody test who are still suffering massively from long-term Covid.
“It really worries me, the type of exposure I have suggested matches our NHS exposure to arthritis which is a major contributor to our NHS time and spending.
“It is a real thing to worry and think about the future, about patients and health planning.”
Prof. Altmann said he agreed with the Minister of Health’s comments that Britain may live with coronavirus just like the flu in the future.
Matt Hancock hoped Covid-19 will become a treatable disease by the end of the year.
Prof. Altmann told Times Radio, “I agree with the ‘By the end of the year’ part. I think the jury is not sure what the future will look like.”
On the news of the drop in the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals, he said, “We are all tracking the data in the UK and Israel which is a little ahead of the curve in terms of vaccinations and see these transmission graphs absolutely void.
“We can’t easily figure out how much of this is lockdown, how much vaccination, but it is certainly both.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that we will finally win.”