British researchers have found evidence that omicron variants are less likely to give you long COVID-19.

Driving the news: The study, peer-reviewed and published in The Lancet journal, compared the risk of getting long COVID-19 from two different coronavirus strains.

Details: Per Medical News Today, they found that those infected with omicron were 20% to 50% less likely to develop long COVID-19 than those who had the delta variant.

  • But close to 5% of people who catch omicron experience typical long COVID-19 symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, headaches, heart problems and other medical issues a month post-infection.
  • Close to 50,000 volunteers participated in the observational analysis by signing up on a phone app called the ZOE COVID Study, which launched in March 2020, according to NBC News.

What they’re saying: “That’s scary,” Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at Yale School of Medicine with a specialization in long COVID-19, told NPR.

  • “People assume that because omicron is milder that, you know, ‘Let’s just get infected and get it over with,’’’ Iwasaki said.

Lead researcher Claire Steves, a senior clinical lecturer at Kings College London, told NPR that the overall number of people getting long COVID-19 “is set to rise.” 

  • “The caveat is that the omicron variant has spread very rapidly through our populations, and therefore a very much larger number of people have been affected,” Steves explained. “So it’s certainly not a time for us to reduce services for long COVID.”
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Symptoms of long COVID: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the general symptoms include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Cough.
  • Chest pain.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Brain fog.
  • Headache.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Change in smell or taste.
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Joint or muscle pain.
  • Rash.
  • Changes in menstrual cycles.
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