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Information for people with long COVID symptoms

Information for people who had COVID-19 or may have had COVID-19 (or their carers) and are concerned that they are having ongoing symptoms.

Key points

  • Long COVID is when you have symptoms for many weeks or months after your initial COVID-19 infection.
  • Symptoms experienced after COVID-19 will vary from person to person.
  • They may be worse in some people and it may not be linked to how bad your initial COVID-19 infection was.
  • The current evidence suggests most people will recover with time and the rate of recovery varies between individuals. 
  • If you feel that you have symptoms of long COVID speak to your regular doctor (general practitioner or GP), they can help you manage these symptoms on your road to recovery. 

What is long COVID?

Long COVID is the name given to the symptoms some people experience for weeks or months after their initial COVID-19 infection. It is also known as ‘post-acute Covid-19’. Although some people will continue to have symptoms, the actual symptoms may vary from person to person. Long COVID symptoms can occur in people who were never unwell with their COVID-19 infection. 

What are the symptoms of long COVID?

The main symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • fatigue/exhaustion
  • concentration/memory issues
  • changes in mood – anxiety, depression, stress, feelings of guilt
  • loss of smell or taste
  • headache
  • sleep issues
  • heart pounding/palpitations/racing heart/chest pain
  • skin rashes
  • muscle aches and joint pains.

However, there are other symptoms being reported so this list may not include every symptom you experience. Your symptoms may have other causes besides long COVID.

What should I do if I have ongoing symptoms and am concerned I may have long COVID?

Make an appointment with your regular doctor (general practitioner or GP), who can answer your questions and give you a check-up. Your doctor will also be able to refer you for ongoing help, if that is required. 

Will I always have long COVID?

Most people make a full recovery, but it takes a variable length of time. Monitor your symptoms and seek help if you are not improving. Your regular doctor can help you with decisions around returning to work and other activities. 

Reviewed 21 April 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

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If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

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