Long-term COVID is a range of symptoms that can last weeks or months after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 or may appear weeks after infection. Prolonged COVID can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19, even if their illness was mild or if they had no symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 can sometimes persist for months. The virus can damage the lungs, heart, and brain, increasing the risk of long-term health problems.
For some people, symptoms of COVID-19 can last four weeks to six months after they test positive for the virus. These patients, who are called long haulers, have in theory recovered from the worst impacts of COVID-19 and have tested negative. However, they still have symptoms of what is called long COVID. There seems to be no coherent reason for this to happen.
People with a mild case of COVID-19 usually recover within a week or two. In severe cases, recovery may take six weeks or longer, and in some cases, there may be long-lasting symptoms with or without damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs, and brain. Other viruses, besides SARS-CoV-2, can also cause long-lasting symptoms. According to the British Heart Foundation, the duration of symptoms of other viruses suggests that prolonged symptoms of COVID may resolve within 3 months.
People may continue to feel tired for up to 6 months. Prolonged COVID can be divided into three categories, Dr. Most people's coronavirus symptoms improve within 4 weeks. However, for some people, symptoms may last longer or new ones may appear.
Symptoms can also change over time and affect any part of the body. For example, “if a patient had no symptoms before and now has new symptoms, you won't want to label it as long transport of COVID or COVID before ruling out other conditions.