New data has revealed that a record two million people in the UK are estimated to be suffering from long COVID symptoms.
The prevalence of long COVID in the UK has jumped sharply since the end of the Omicron variant wave – which infected millions of people over the winter – and now, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the condition is thought to be adversely affecting the day-to-day activities of around 1.4 million people nationwide, which is around seven in 10 of those who reported having COVID-19.
Since the beginning of 2022, the ONS said that 700,000 people have developed the condition – which is more than a third of the overall total.
Of the two million people with long COVID, 1.4 million said they first had coronavirus, or suspected they had the illness, at least 12 weeks previously, while 826,000 said first had it at least a year earlier.
Another 376,000 people said they first had COVID-19 at least two years previously.
The ONS said it found that, up until 1 May 2022, a total of 398,000 people – which equates to one in five – said that their ability to undertake day-to-day activities after contracting COVID-19 has been “limited a lot”.
Fatigue continues to be the most-common long COVID symptom, which is said to be currently experienced by 55% of people.
This is followed by 32% with shortness of breath, 23% with a cough, and 23% with muscle ache.
When it comes to the types of people more susceptible, the ONS added that the rates of long COVID were the highest among women, those aged 35 to 69 years, people living in more deprived areas, those working in social care, teaching and education or health care, and those with other health conditions or disabilities.
In response to the record figure and new ONS data, Layla Moran MP – Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus – said: “For nearly two years, we have been warning the UK government about the scale and dangers of the long COVID crisis… [and] after reaching this grim milestone, the government cannot bury their heads in the sand any longer.
“They must urgently classify long COVID as an occupational illness, provide formal guidance to employers, and increase funding for research into treatments.”
The new ONS figures are based on self-reported long COVID from a representative sample of 296,868 responses from people in private households in the four weeks to 1 May 2022.
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.