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Omicron might be less likely to cause long COVID

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Monday, June 20, 2022 - 5:05am
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The omicron variant of coronavirus spreads more easily than earlier strains, including delta.

But new research the the journal The Lancet suggests omicron might have an upside: It’s less likely to cause long COVID-19.

Based on data from a symptom-study smartphone app, researchers at King's College London find omicron is 20-50% less likely than delta to cause long COVID, depending on age and time since last vaccination.

A comparison of adult cases when each of the two strains was dominant shows 4.4% of omicron patients had long COVID, compared to 10.8% of delta patients.

Nevertheless, the sheer number of omicron cases means the total population with long COVID was in fact higher during the omicron period.

Coronavirus Science Health + Medicine