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Common symptoms of Long COVID

On this page, find out what the common symptoms of Long COVID are and what you should do if you have lots of different symptoms. There’s also more information about the NHS Your COVID Recovery programme.

On this page:

Long COVID Symptoms

If you have had coronavirus, you may find that you have continuing symptoms that last for weeks or months. These can include:

  • breathlessness
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • problems with memory and concentration (known as ‘brain fog’) 
  • a cough that’s been ongoing since you’ve had COVID-19.

Other common Long COVID symptoms can include:

  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • joint pain
  • chest pain or tightness; heart palpitations (these may need urgently investigating, so it’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible)
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

Download the Long COVID symptoms infographic (PDF, 337kb)

What can I do if I have lots of different symptoms?

Long COVID can affect your whole body and you may experience lots of different symptoms, either at once or at different times. If you're worried about symptoms 4 weeks or more after having COVID-19, contact your GP. They will ask about your symptoms and the impact they’re having on your life.

Your GP will talk to you about the care and support you might need. This might include advice on how to manage your symptoms at home.

If your symptoms are having a big impact on your life, they may refer you to a specialist rehabilitation service or a specialist that can help with your specific symptoms. This could be a physiotherapist, a dietitian, an occupational therapist, or another member of the team.

Here’s some more information to help you deal with problems related to your lungs because of Long COVID:

Call 999 if:

  • you’re getting more breathless
  • you’re coughing up blood
  • you have severe chest pain.

It is especially important that you seek help if you have:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • heart palpitations
  • leg or arm swelling
  • depression causing thoughts of self-harm or neglect.

These could potentially be serious, so it’s important that you get help as soon as possible.

If you have another medical condition and it’s been getting worse since you’ve had COVID-19, please speak to your GP.

If you’re living with longer-term symptoms of COVID-19, you might need more help and support than you’re currently getting. My Long COVID Needs is an assessment tool that helps prioritise your needs while recovering, with advice on what you should do next and the help you’re entitled to.

After you've finished your assessment, it’s a good idea to print out your summary report and take it to your GP appointment. You can also download it as a PDF, which you could show on your phone or attach to an email. Your GP can look at your results and let you know what to do next. Showing your summary report to a health care professional may make it easier to get referred to local support services, such as a Long COVID Clinic, or help for problems such as work, money and mental wellbeing.

Your COVID Recovery

The NHS has also launched a programme called Your COVID Recovery. This is an online rehabilitation platform designed to support your physical and emotional recovery if you have ongoing COVID-19 symptoms. You need to get a referral from a health care professional to access this programme.

Through Your COVID Recovery, you can get advice and support from various healthcare professionals on your mental health, physical activity, managing your symptoms and diet. You’ll also be able to track your symptoms and set your own goals.

You might also find it useful to visit the Your Covid Recovery website, which has information and advice on a wide range of Long COVID symptoms that can affect your body and mind, as well as advice on what to do if you already have diabetes or cardiovascular disease. 

Next: When will I get back to normal?


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