COVID-19 – long covid

Long COVID is the term for the experience of symptoms that last weeks or months after the initial viral infection.


Studies to date show common symptoms include fatigue, breathlessness and (in more severe cases) organ failure, such as that of the heart and lungs.

Although there is no specific treatment for long COVID, there are positive signs that people are able to manage their symptoms by drawing on a range of sources such as online help, peer support, complementary therapies and formal health care

General guidance to help with long Covid

Most infections with COVID resolve within the first 4 weeks. “long COVID” is an informal term that is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after an acute infection of COVID. Depending on how long you have ongoing symptoms for, it can be called one of 2 things:

  • Ongoing symptomatic COVID
    This is where your symptoms continue for more than 4 weeks. If your symptoms last for longer than 12 weeks, it will then be called;
  • Post-COVID Syndrome or long COVID
    This is where your ongoing symptoms continue for longer than 12 weeks and cannot be explained by any other condition.

According to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance the symptoms of long Covid can be many and varied and can change over time. The most commonly reported symptoms include (but are not limited to) the following:

Generalised symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Neurological symptoms

Cognitive impairment (‘brain fog’, loss of concentration or memory issues)

  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Pins and needles or numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Delirium (in older people)

Gastrointestinal symptoms (digestive system)

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anorexia and reduced appetite (in older people)
  • Weight loss

Musculoskeletal symptoms

  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain

Psychological/psychiatric symptoms

  • Symptoms of depression
  • Symptoms of anxiety

Ear, nose and throat symptoms

  • Tinnitus
  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste and/or smell

Dermatological symptoms

  • Skin rashes

Further links and resources for long COVID related issues

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership – Long Covid

Dr Sari Harenwall, Senior Clinical Psychologist and COVID Rehab Clinical Lead for the Primary Care Wellbeing Service at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and colleagues in Bradford have recorded a series of videos on how to manage your physical and mental health and wellbeing with Long Covid. These videos are also available to watch on YouTube.

British Heart Foundation

The British Heart Foundation has produced a great guide to long Covid symptoms and tips for recovery.  You can also sign up for up to date information from their site.

NHS Guidance and resources

The NHS have produced information to help people with Covid recovery but they have also developed a page of information specifically about long Covid.