People who have had COVID-19 may also be more likely to develop new health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, blood clots, or neurological conditions compared with people who have not had COVID-19.
In July 2021, “long COVID” was added as a recognized condition that could result in a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
There is no single test to find out if someone has long COVID. While long COVID is more common in persons who experienced severe COVID-19, some people develop long COVID after an infection with mild or no symptoms. You can be diagnosed with long COVID even if you don’t have proof of a positive test.
New research also suggests that getting treated for COVID-19 infection with Paxlovid reduces the risk of developing long Covid.
- People who have severe COVID-19 illness, especially those who are hospitalized or need intensive care
- People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19
- People who have underlying health conditions prior to COVID-19 infection
The CDC and other researchers are working to understand more about who experiences long COVID and why, including whether groups most impacted by COVID-19 are at higher risk for long COVID.
- Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
- Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort
Respiratory and heart symptoms
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as “heart palpitations”)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
- Hearing loss or ringing in the ears
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
- Pins-and-needles feeling
- Change in smell or taste
- Depression or anxiety
- Stomach pain
- Joint or muscle pain
- Changes in menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction
If you don’t have health insurance, visit our Health Insurance webpage today for information about signing up.
You can track your symptoms using this log. Please also see the CDC’s Patient Tips: Healthcare Provider Appointments for Post-COVID Conditions.
Your provider may ask about the care and support you might need. You may be given advice about how to manage and monitor your symptoms at home.
If the symptoms are having a big impact on your life, you may be referred to a clinic that specializes in the specific symptoms you have.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is also studying post-COVID conditions through partnerships with academic institutions, such as UCSF. One study, INSPIRE (Innovative Support for Patients with SARS CoV-2 Infection Registry) uses an online platform to enroll people 18 years or older after they test positive for COVID-19 and sends surveys over time to learn about the long-term effects of COVID-19. You can learn more about how to participate on the UCSF study page.
There is also a study at Stanford called Paxlovid for Treatment of Long Covid. (Paxlovid is already used to treat COVID infection). Enrollment information can be found on the study page.
The UCSF CARE BEAR-LC study is focused on cardiac rehabilitation for persons with long COVID who have difficulty tolerating exercise. More information can be found on the study page.
- Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions (CDC)
- Caring for People with Post-COVID Conditions (CDC)
- Post-COVID Conditions (Long COVID) Questions & Answers (CDPH)
- NHS Post-Covid Information Pack
- Royal College of Occupational Therapists: How to Conserve Your Energy
- JHU: Bouncing Back from Long COVID
- WHO: Support for rehabilitation: self-management after COVID-19-related illness, second edition
- CDC: How Right Now