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The Effects of Long COVID and Treatments


The CDC estimates 10 to 30 percent of people who had COVID-19 are long haulers,1 people who have symptoms that last more than four weeks. This can affect anyone – if you are old or young, overall healthy or with another condition. It can occur if you're hospitalized or have a mild case and recover at home.2

Long COVID can include the same symptoms you had when you were first sick. This could include shortness of breath or fatigue. Or, you may have new symptoms. After you've improved and recovered, all of a sudden, one month later, you might feel worse for months.3

What is Long COVID?

Long COVID (post COVID-19 syndrome) describes the effects that last more than four weeks after diagnosis of the virus. Older people and those with serious medical conditions are the most likely to have these symptoms, or effects, that linger. But, even young, otherwise healthy people can feel unwell for weeks and months after infection.4 In either case, these are called long haulers.3

Who can get Long COVID?

Anyone. Both children and adults can experience Long COVID. Symptoms can develop after severe, mild or asymptomatic cases.5

What are symptoms of Long COVID?

You might have:5

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Pins and needles feeling
  • Sleep problems or insomnia
  • Fever
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Rash
  • Change in mood
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Change in menstrual period cycles
  • Cough and shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or Fatigue
  • Difficulty in thought or focus (often called brain fog)
  • Pain in your chest or stomach (may include diarrhea)
  • Headache
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat

How are Long COVID symptoms treated?

A variety of treatments and supports exist. When medically necessary, Primary care physicians, behavioral health specialists, pulmonologists, neurologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, ENTs (ear, nose and throat), pain specialists and others work with people who have Long COVID.

For more in-depth information, browse our list of Long COVID resources, and watch this video on what Long COVID is and how to treat it.

Last Updated: 06/03/2022