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Hundreds of Berkshire residents treated for long Covid at Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital

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Specialist clinic was set up by the NHS in November

Hundreds of people are being treated for long Covid in Reading.

In November, the NHS set up 60 specialist clinics, including one at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, to treat people with long-term symptoms of the virus.

More than 260 people have been referred to this service since it was set up on November 30.

Out of the first 100 referrals, 95 per cent said they were struggling with fatigue, 82 per cent reported shortness of breath and 72 per cent said they had concentration issues.

According to the NHS, around one in 10 people who contract Covid-19 suffer with long-term symptoms.

When these signs and symptoms are present for more than 12 weeks, a person can be diagnosed with Post-Covid syndrome, which is also known as long Covid.

Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, issues with memory and concentration, chest pain, dizziness, and joint pain.

During the pandemic, 55,537 have tested positive for Covid-19 in Berkshire and public health experts estimate that more than 5,500 could have long Covid.

Meradin Peachey, a director at Public Health Berkshire, said more research is needed to determine whether the long-term symptoms will “turn into a disability”.

She said: “Long Covid is not causing the conditions that normally cause people to end up in social care.

“It is possible that it might not create additional capacity, but at the moment we still don’t really know what the impact of long Covid is.

“What some people are reporting at the moment is tiredness and lethargy affecting their muscles for six to nine months after Covid and still having difficulty walking and breathing.”

Her comments came at a meeting of West Berkshire Council’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board on March 29.

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