Research shows those who contract Covid are at increased risk of dying for up to two years after infection.
Most Britons are already infected with the virus, many having had it more than once.
It should be borne in mind that the majority of people have some protection against the virus after a mammoth vaccination, as well as after a previous infection.
Scientists from the US have found that the risk of being hospitalized with Covid-19 is higher in the years after infection than in people who are not ill.
Previous studies found that respiratory and heart problems persisted for months after an initial Covid infection.
However, the new study, published in Nature Medicine, found that people hospitalized with the pathogen were at a far higher risk of dying just two years after becoming infected.
They were also at higher risk of serious health complications like lung disease, diabetes and general fatigue – also known as ‘Long Covid’.
The experts noted that two years after infection, the risk of death decreases.
For patients not hospitalized for the killer virus, it takes just six months before the risk of death is no longer significant, it said.
However, this group is not spared from all the terrible side effects of the virus.
Those who didn’t end up in the hospital were at an increased risk of over 20 diseases, it said.
These diseases include: cardiovascular problems and blood clotting disorders, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and kidney disease.
Study author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, an epidemiologist at Washington University, said: “A lot of people think, ‘I have Covid, I got through it and I’m fine.’
“Maybe you forgot about the Covid… but Covid hasn’t forgotten you.”
“It’s still wreaking havoc in your body.”
The study was based on the medical records of nearly 140,000 US veterans who were diagnosed with Covid in the early days of the pandemic.
Scientists compared the veteran’s health records to a control group of nearly six million people who were not known to be infected.
The study highlights that the sample group was not representative of the general population because the veterans were older and predominantly male.
It comes as a new, mutant form of Covid has emerged.
The new Omicron spin-off, dubbed BA2.86, follows the EG5.1 variant “Eris” that hit the Covid stage in July.
Eris currently accounts for around 15 per cent of all cases in the UK, according to the UK Department of Health.
Between August 6 and 12, 6,289 people in England had a confirmed positive test result.
This corresponds to an increase of 17.4 percent compared to the previous seven days.
Experts have suggested this sudden spike in cases could be due to inclement weather in July, which prompted people to congregate indoors without ventilation to ensure their safety.
What are the current symptoms of Covid?
Omicron can easily be mistaken for a cold.
The easiest way to tell if you have Covid is to take a test.
The latest data from ZOE states that people who contract Omicron show specific symptoms.
Data from the app says there are 20 symptoms Brits should watch out for, including:
- sore throat
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Cough, no phlegm
- cough with phlegm
- Hoarse voice
- muscle aches ache
- dizziness in the head
- Altered smell
- Swollen cervical glands
- eye pain
- tightness in the chest
- shortness of breath
- loss of smell
- chills or chills
- shoulder joint pain