Facts About Long COVID

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What is Long COVID?

Most people who get COVID feel better within a few days or weeks. But some people develop Long COVID, where they have symptoms that last for many weeks, months, or years.

Researchers estimate that millions of people have experienced Long COVID.

Long COVID can be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act if it limits your ability to do certain things, such as take care of yourself, walk, interact with others, or work.

Vaccines can protect you from Long COVID

You can lower your chances of getting Long COVID by staying up to date with your COVID vaccine. 

Find COVID vaccines near you at vaccines.gov

Symptoms of Long COVID

People with Long COVID can have a variety of symptoms. Some symptoms may not seem clearly related to COVID, which can make Long COVID hard to diagnose. 

Commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (heart palpitations)
  • Brain fog (trouble thinking or remembering things)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

People with Long COVID can also experience a worsening of their symptoms after:

  • Physical effort, such as exercising, doing household chores, or even going to the grocery store. 
  • Mental effort, such as reading a book, driving a car, or being in a stressful situation. 

People more likely to get Long COVID

Anyone who gets COVID can develop Long COVID. Researchers are working to better understand why some people do and some people don’t get Long COVID. 

So far, studies have found that the following people may be more likely than others to get Long COVID:

  • People who aren’t vaccinated against COVID
  • People who get severely ill from COVID, especially those who need hospital care
  • People who have underlying health conditions
  • People who experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) during or after COVID illness
  • People who have COVID more than once

For more information

For more information about Long COVID, go to cdc.gov/coronavirus.