Long COVID (Post-COVID-19 Syndrome)
Some people who have had COVID-19 do not get better as quickly as expected, even those who were not severely ill. Many people are finding they are still unwell more than 4 weeks after the start of their infection, and some develop new problems over several weeks.
Long COVID is one term that has been used to describe these symptoms, which can change and come and go over time and can affect different parts of the body at different times.
To describe these symptoms, healthcare professionals may use different terms when taking about Long COVID.
• Acute COVID-19: signs and symptoms that last up to four weeks. ‘Acute’ refers to first the signs of infection, rather than the severity of the illness.
• Ongoing symptomatic COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from
four weeks up to 12 weeks.
• Post-COVID-19 syndrome: signs and symptoms which develop during or
after an infection that is consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than
12 weeks and are not explained by another diagnosis.
(NICE 2020/REVIEW 2021)
Long COVID is not just people taking time to recover from a stay in intensive care.
Information about signs and symptoms that develop during or following COVID:
If you have been diagnosed with Long COVID, or think you may have Long-COVID, it is important to seek advice from a health professional before starting any graded exercise intervention or return to activity. You may be experiencing Post Exertional Malaise also known as Post Exertional Symptom Exacerbation as a symptom of your Long COVID.
This is where activity, physical, cognitive, emotional, or social exertion can result in the worsening of symptoms. The worsening of symptoms can happen immediately, or can happen 24-72 hours after exertion.
Speak to your GP about being referred to the Long COVID Recovery Team.