What is Long Covid?

Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience "long-COVID" conditions.

Long-COVID conditions are a wide range of health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as "brain fog")
  • Cough
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Pins-and-needles feeling
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems
  • Fever
  • Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
  • Rash
  • Mood changes
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Changes in period cycles

Even people with very few COVID-19 symptoms during their initial infection can have long-COVID conditions. These conditions can have different types and combinations of health problems for different lengths of time.

CDC and experts around the world are working to learn more about short- and long- term health effects associated with COVID-19, who gets them, and why.


The best way to prevent long-COVID conditions is by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as you can. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people ages 12 years and older, including if you had COVID-19 or a long-COVID condition.

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