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Corona Virus
A series of write ups on the virus

Long Covid

8/10/2020

Long Covid is the longer term effects of the virus and there is a very enlighteming article here:- https://institute.global/policy/long-covid-reviewing-science-and-assessing-risk.  The following is an exerpt from this article.

What Are the Symptoms of “Long Covid”?
Our understanding of long Covid is still in its early stages, but the most commonly reported symptoms, cited in various studies, include:

• Excessive fatigue/exhaustion
• Breathlessness
• Headache
• Insomnia
• Muscle fatigue/pains
• Chest pain
• Persistent cough
• Loss of taste and smell
• Intermittent fevers
• Skin rashes
• Post-exertional malaise-when overdoing it leads to symptoms coming back
T
here are additional, less common symptoms that have been reported by long Covid sufferers, which have yet to be confirmed by studies:

• Hearing problems
• Cognitive issues such as “brain fog”
• Mental-health problems
• Hair loss


It goes on to indicate that about 10% of those who infected will still have symptoms after a month and 1.5-2% after 3 three months.  So how many is that in the UK.?

Mortality
The figures from the governments site showing:-
Number of deaths of people whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes
gives the following data on deaths recorded

  • 24th July        55,994
  • 28th August  56,762

That is 768 deaths in 35 days.

Now the time from infection to death is around 10 days so of we can look at the number of cases from 10 days earlier
The figures from the governments site showing:-
Number of people with at least one lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, by specimen date
gives the following.

  • 14th July       293,131
  • 18th August  323,072

That is 29,941 cases in 35 days

This time was chosen as it was a relatively calm period and the test and trace system, while not perfect was probably at its best.

The mortality rate calculates out as about 2.6%

The real number of cases.
There was very limited UK testing in the early days of the pandemic, but we can apply the "known" mortality rate to the total number of deaths and get a much better estimate of the total number of cases.
From the governments site on the number of deaths.

  • 25th September 57,347
  • Mortality 2.6%
  • therefore the real number of cases is around 2.2 million

Cases of Long Covid
So, from the opening paragraph above, if we take the 10% after a month that is 220,000 people and if we take the 1.5-2% figure that 33-45,000 people (the article estimates 60,000) still have symptoms after 3 months , and some of these may well be permanent.

As a rough guide,
the number of people with long covid for up to a month after infection is about 4 times the number of deaths, and those suffering three or more months after infection is about the same as the number of deaths.

Other unknowns
The disease has been known for under a year. We do not yet know the long term effects of the disease, on the immune system, fertility or possible birth defects (thalidomide!!)
Vaccines are being rushed through; we do not know their long term effects either. (thalidomide!!)

What next

  1. We could have a the majority of the population of the world suffering from the long term effects of the virus or the vaccines. So we could see the crash of the entire global economy followed by the extinction of the human species. Maybe this is nature's way of dealing with climate change?  Probably not.
  2. Or maybe it will all go away by Christmas wthout much more effect.  Probably not
  3. Or maybe it will be like Spanish flu infecting about a third of the population of the world and killing 2.5% of those infected.  Only 0.26% of the world has been infected so far, so if this happens it will get much much worse.
  4. Or something else. 

How to avoid getting it.
Use your brain and the science - not silly government advice or guidelines.
The chart below shows the spread in the virus in England by age group.

UK cases by age

  • If you are older, avoid close contact with younger people
  • If you are younger, don't be stupid and assume that you won't be affected.  Long Covid knows no age limits.
  • Keep distancing.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Avoid anyone without a mask.
  • If you can't avoid unmasked passers by, hold you breath as they go past.
  • USE YOUR BRAIN - it is the best protection.
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