Different types of COVID-19

People may experience COVID-19 for differing amounts of time: 

The terms described below to define the effects of COVID-19 at different time points. These definitions will be continuously reviewed as evidence emerges and we begin to understand more about the long-term effects of COVID-19.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for up to 4 weeks

COVID-19 presents with a range of symptoms of varying severity.
Some people infected with the disease will experience no symptoms.

Common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • A new and continuous cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste)

Symptoms that you could experience with COVID, but could also be a sign of other health issues:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Myalgia (muscle aches and pains)
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Some people, particularly those who are older and immunocompromised,
can experience uncommon symptoms such as delirium and reduced mobility,
without having a fever.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from 4 weeks up to 12 weeks.

Symptoms can vary, most commonly including psychiatric problems, generalised pain, fatigue, persisting fever, and affecting the following systems:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Gastrointestinal (Stomach)
  • Neurological
  • Musculoskeletal (Bones, joints and muscles)
  • Metabolic
  • Renal (Kidney)
  • Dermatological (Skin)
  • Otolaryngological (Ear, nose and throat)
  • Haematological (blood) and autonomic systems (immune systems)

In addition to psychiatric problems, generalised pain, fatigue and persisting fever.

Signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.

People usually experience multiple symptoms at one time, which can fluctuate and change over time and can affect any system in the body.

Long COVID (Post-COVID-19 syndrome) may be considered before 12 weeks while the possibility of an alternative underlying disease is also being assessed.

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