What is Long COVID?

Long COVID may also be called post-COVID conditions, long-haul COVID, and post-acute COVID. Long COVID refers to a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing symptoms four or more weeks after first being infected with COVID-19. Long COVID can occur even if you did not have symptoms with initial infection.

Who can get Long COVID?

Any child or adult who was previously infected with COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from COVID-19, although it appears to be less common in children and adolescents. Research continues to better understand how many people infected with COVID-19 will go on to have Long COVID.

Why should I care about Long COVID?

Doctors and public health officials are still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19. Long COVID has been shown to have a significant impact on people’s health and quality of life months after initial infection.

What are some of the effects of Long COVID?

The most commonly reported persistent symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Cough
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Pins-and-needles feeling
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems
  • Fever
  • Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
  • Rash
  • Mood changes
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Changes in menstrual period cycles

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How can I get help if I am struggling with Long COVID?

Long COVID can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Learn more at http://ow.ly/97eG50FLf8M.

NY Project Hope offers support for those who have COVID or are experiencing Long COVID, including online support groups. Learn more at https://nyprojecthope.org

WMC Health Post-COVID Recovery Program offers patients a tailored Post-COVID-19 treatment plan led by expert providers. Learn more at: www.westchestermedicalcenter.org/wmchealthpostcovid19recoveryprogram

How can I prevent Long COVID?

The best way to prevent Long COVID is to get the COVID-19 vaccine. To find vaccine providers near you, please visit vaccines.gov

Last reviewed: August 2, 2022