The Omicron coronavirus variant is less likely to cause long Covid than the Delta strain, new research suggests. The study found the odds of experiencing long Covid were between 20% and 50% lower during the Omicron period versus the Delta period, depending on age and time since vaccination.
The analysis was conducted by researchers from King's College London using data from the Zoe Covid Symptom study. Lead author Dr Claire Steves, from King's College London, said that the Omicron variant appears substantially less likely to cause long Covid than previous variants, but still one in 23 people who catch Covid-19 go on to have symptoms for more than four weeks. "Given the numbers of people affected it's important that we continue to support them at work, at home and within the NHS," Dr Steves said.
The analysis showed that 4.4% of Omicron cases were long Covid, compared to 10.8% of Delta cases. However, the absolute number of people who had long Covid was higher in the Omicron period because of the vast numbers infected with the variant from December 2021 to February 2022.