Health Department Alert:
Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection. This is known as post-COVID conditions or long COVID. People call post-COVID conditions by many names, including: long COVID, long-haul COVID, long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.
There is no test that determines if your symptoms or condition is due to COVID-19. Long COVID is not one illness and is different from person to person. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of post-COVID conditions based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health examination.
Scientists are working to better understand post-COVID conditions and how many people experience them. Estimates of the proportion of people who have long COVID vary. Some estimates of the risk of long COVID vary between 5 and 30%, and a recent large study by CDC suggested that one in five adult COVID-19 survivors aged 18 to 65 years and one in four survivors aged 65 years and over have a health condition related to their previous COVID-19 illness. Learn more about Data for Long COVID from the CDC.
Researchers are working to understand which people or groups of people are more likely than others to get long COVID, and why. So far, studies have found that the following people may be more likely than others to get long COVID:
Scientists are researching some health inequities that may place these communities at higher risk of both getting infected or developing post-COVID conditions.
The best way to prevent long COVID is to protect yourself and others from becoming infected.
The CDC recommends staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination. CDC also recommends improving ventilation, getting tested for COVID-19 if needed, and seeking treatment for COVID-19 if eligible, along with other prevention steps.
People as young as six months are eligible for the updated vaccine.
People with long COVID can have a wide range of symptoms that can last weeks, months, or even years after infection. Post-COVID conditions may not affect everyone the same way.
People with long COVID may experience health problems from different types and combinations of symptoms happening over different lengths of time. Sometimes the symptoms can even go away or come back again.
General symptoms (Not a Comprehensive List)
Respiratory and heart symptoms
Long COVID can sometimes result in disability. Learn more: Guidance on “Long COVID” as a Disability Under the ADA.
Living with long COVID can be hard, especially when there are no immediate answers or solutions.
People experiencing long COVID can seek care from a healthcare provider to come up with a personal medical management plan that can help improve their symptoms and quality of life.
Preparing for an appointment can make all the difference in getting the proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. To help get the most out of appointments, scroll through the information below. You can also download a printable Healthcare Appointment Checklist.
The provider you meet with could be a doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other type of healthcare professional. It may take more than one appointment to evaluate potential post-COVID symptoms and determine an accurate diagnosis to better manage and treat your symptoms. Your provider may ask questions about your medical history, current symptoms, and quality of life. Depending on your symptoms, they may run tests to determine a diagnosis and plan for treatment. ;
Having or supporting someone with Long COVID can be challenging, especially when there are few or no immediate answers or solutions. However, there are ways to help.
Find an overview of Post-COVID Conditions and resources for healthcare providers.