Long Covid Leeds: Signs, symptoms and diagnosis as nearly 200,000 say they live with it in Yorkshire

Across the UK, the number of people reporting they have Long Covid has risen to two million.

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Thousands of people went to the vaccination center in Elland Road to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

It represents 3.7% of the region’s population and is above the current UK average of 3.1%.

Many people with Long Covid in Yorkshire said they had been living with it for some time.

An estimated 87,000 people – 45% – of those with Long Covid, were first infected with Covid-19 at least a year ago.

What are the symptoms of Long Covid?

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include a cough, high temperature, or loss of taste or smell, but these usually don’t last longer than three weeks.

The long-term symptoms that some people experience often vary widely and encompass both physical and neurological effects, with these lasting for weeks or even months in some cases.

The most common symptom of Long Covid is severe fatigue, while other sufferers have reported shortness of breath, persistent cough, joint pain, muscle aches and mental health issues.

Muscle pain and weakness

Memory loss or lack of concentration

Struggling to think clearly

Hearing and visual problems

Why does the virus cause long-term effects?

It is believed that even though the virus has been cleared from most of the body, it may continue to persist in some small pockets, which may cause longer lasting symptoms.

As the virus can directly infect a wide variety of cells in the body, it can trigger an overactive immune system that causes damage throughout the body.

It is believed that the immune system does not return to normal after an infection, which can damage the functioning of organs in the body, for example if the lungs scar. This has been observed after Sars or Mers infections, which are the two types of coronavirus.

Are some people more at risk of Long Covid than others?

The development of long-term symptoms does not appear to be related to how well you are when you are first infected with Covid-19, but new research has identified four key factors that could increase your risk.

A recent study published in the cell medical journal identified four common factors that can be seen in the early stages of coronavirus infections.

The researchers said these factors are often found in people who later develop long-lasting symptoms, even if the infection was mild.

The four factors believed to increase the likelihood of developing Long Covid are:

the viral load in a person’s blood

the presence of certain auto-antibodies (antibodies that recognize parts of our own body) which are often used to fight the virus and its symptoms

reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus, known to infect people at a young age

whether the patient has type 2 diabetes

Is there a test for Long Covid?

People with persistent symptoms after infection with Covid-19 should seek advice from a GP to discuss its impact on your daily life.

Your doctor may suggest tests to learn more about your symptoms and rule out other factors that could be causing them.

check your blood pressure and heart rate

You may then receive advice on how to manage and monitor your symptoms at home, or be referred to a specialist rehabilitation service or service specializing in the specific symptoms you have.