'I can feel the weakness and the tiredness': How Long Covid is still affecting thousands in Black Country
Tens of thousands of Black Country and Staffordshire residents may be suffering from debilitating effects of coronavirus, new figures show.
Data from the NHS GP Patient Survey, carried out January to April, found that 5.9 per cent of the 19,823 people in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton who responded said they were still experiencing symptoms more than 12 weeks after first having Covid-19. The number is up from 5.3 per cent reported in 2022.
Using the most recent data for the number of people registered with a surgery in the Black Country Integrated Board area, it could mean about 61,800 people aged 16 and older in the area were struggling with lingering health problems from Long Covid.
In Staffordshire including the Potteries 5.5 per cent of 16,228 respondents have symptoms, meaning 53,700 overall may be struggling.
Among those still battling to recover is Wolverhampton councillor Milkinder Jaspal, who was not expected to survive when he was struck down with the virus in January 2021.
Councillor Jaspal said: "It will be three years next January since I was at death's door with Covid and I'm still struggling. It has turned my body upside down and that is the reality of it.
"Some people recovered fully, but I haven't. I now pick up colds and viruses quickly due to being left with a low immune system. Every few weeks I get a sniffle or a cough. I have to be very careful who I interact with."