Thousands of people suffering with long Covid in Oxfordshire

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MORE than 15,000 people in Oxfordshire are suffering with long Covid, estimates suggest.

The annual GP Patient Survey, run on behalf of NHS England, polled patients from thousands of practices across the country, between January and April.

Patients were asked if they were still experiencing symptoms more than 12 weeks after they first had Covid-19, that could not be explained by something else.

Of the 9,200 respondents in Oxfordshire, 306 (3.3 per cent) said they had symptoms of long Covid.

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Applying this rate to the latest population estimate for the clinical commissioning group area as a whole means 18,205 people aged 16 and over in the area could be suffering from lingering health problems.

Across England, 4.4 per cent of GP patients said they had long Covid symptoms – which can include fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations – equating to approximately 2 million people.

The GP survey showed that the vast majority (89.9 per cent) of patients who responded to the survey in Oxfordshire said they did not have long Covid symptoms, but 5.8 per cent said they were unsure and 0.9 per cent preferred not to answer.

The Department of Health and Social Care said more than £50 million has gone to help scientists understand the long-term debilitating effects of coronavirus, while the NHS has committed £224 million to support people with ongoing symptoms.

A spokesman added: “The best way to protect yourself from Covid is by getting the vaccine, and our world-leading programme has delivered over 150 million jabs.”

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice