Simple blood test could diagnose long Covid within months, first study finds

A SIMPLE blood test could confirm if you're suffering with long Covid within months, a study has found.

Scientists noticed a pattern of irregularities in people with the debilitating condition.

Imperial College London researchers discovered rogue antibodies in the blood of afflicted people.

Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial, said: “It’s hard to escape a prediction that 100,000 new infections a day equates to 10,000 to 20,000 long Covid cases a day, especially in young people.

"That’s a lot of damage to a lot of lives. And it’s hard to see that we’d have the healthcare provision to deal with it on that scale.

"All of us working on this could not be more alarmed.”

The experts took samples from Covid patients and healthy people who haven't had the virus.

Different antibodies in the blood marked a different between those who recovered from the bug and those who developed long Covid.

They found "autoantibodies", which attack healthy tissue by mistake and carry on causing damage, instead of antibodies which fight off infection.

Last Wednesday, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said it's "not beyond the imagination" that 5,000 people will suffer the condition daily as cases rocket to 100,000 by the end of summer.

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But he insisted the UK must go ahead with stage four of Boris Johnson's roadmap to freedom – and said the Government has faith the jab will protect the public.

Scientists have warned the condition could place huge strain on the country – as the young are hit with the condition.

The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first had the coronavirus.

You can still be plagued with long Covid if you were fit, healthy and young when you were infected.

But there does seem to be some risk factors – including being a woman, aged 35 to 69, having obesity or an underlying health condition, living in a poor area or working in healthcare.

Long Covid patients are to receive monthly vaccines in a trial that offers hope for the one million Brits who suffer crippling chronic symptoms. 

In a world-first, British scientists are set to explore giving sufferers monthly doses of the vaccine in a bid to combat the condition.

After winning the go-ahead on Friday, 40 long Covid sufferers will be offered at least two extra jabs in a trial later this year. 

Several of the major vaccine developers are backing the study and if the pilot is successful the scientists can recruit thousands more patients.

What are the symptoms of long Covid?

Millions of people worldwide have recovered from the initial coronavirus infection, but are still sick.

So what are the symptoms?

  1. Exhaustion
  2. High temperature
  3. Diarrhoea
  4. Hair loss
  5. Chest pain
  6. Insomnia
  7. Hallucinations
  8. Covid toes
  9. Chills
  10. Disorientation
  11. Cognitive problems
  12. Breathing issues
  13. Muscle or body aches
  14. A heart rate of more than 100 beats a minute
  15. Vomiting
  16. Issues with heart rhythm 

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