The Omicron variant of coronavirus is much less more likely to trigger lengthy COVID than earlier variants, in accordance with the primary peer-reviewed examine of its sort from the UK.
Researchers at King’s Faculty London, utilizing information from the ZOE COVID Symptom examine app, discovered the percentages of creating lengthy COVID after an infection had been 20% to 50% decrease through the Omicron wave within the UK in comparison with Delta. The determine different relying on the affected person’s age and the timing of their final vaccination.
Lengthy COVID, which incorporates extended signs starting from fatigue to ‘mind fog’, might be debilitating and proceed for weeks or months. It’s more and more being recognised as a public well being downside, and researchers have been racing to seek out out if Omicron presents as large a danger of lengthy COVID as beforehand dominant variants.
The examine from King’s is believed to be the primary tutorial analysis to indicate Omicron doesn’t current as nice a danger of lengthy COVID, however that doesn’t imply lengthy COVID affected person numbers are dropping, the workforce stated.
Whereas the chance of lengthy COVID was decrease throughout Omicron, extra folks had been contaminated, so absolutely the quantity now struggling is larger.
“It is excellent news, however please do not decommission any of your lengthy COVID companies,” lead researcher Dr Claire Steves advised Reuters, interesting to health-service suppliers.
The UK’s Workplace for Nationwide Statistics stated in Could that 438,000 folks within the nation have lengthy COVID after Omicron an infection, representing 24% of all lengthy COVID sufferers.
It additionally stated the chance of lingering signs after Omicron was decrease than with Delta, however just for double-vaccinated folks. It discovered no statistical distinction for many who had been triple vaccinated.
Within the King’s analysis, 4.5% of the 56,003 folks studied throughout Omicron’s peak, December 2021-March 2022, reported lengthy COVID. That in comparison with 10.8% of 41,361 folks through the Delta wave, June-November 2021. It didn’t evaluate vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Whereas the examine – revealed in The Lancet journal on Thursday – in contrast Delta and Omicron, Dr Steves stated earlier work had confirmed no substantial distinction in lengthy COVID danger between different variants.
Extra work was wanted to determine why Omicron could have a decrease lengthy COVID danger, the workforce added.