Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Quick read: Understanding long COVID

Understanding long COVID

While not common, some people can develop longer-term health problems caused by COVID-19. Some people may continue to have symptoms for weeks or months after their diagnosis. This is sometimes known as 'long COVID', or 'post COVID-19 condition'.

Studies are ongoing to understand why some people develop long COVID and others don’t.

What you need to know

Long COVID is sometimes also known as post-COVID condition. This is when symptoms of COVID-19 remain, or develop, long after your acute illness. These symptoms can last for weeks or sometimes months.

The most common symptoms of long COVID include fatigue, headaches, persistent cough, dizziness, shortness of breath, insomnia and brain fog. Some people with long COVID may experience low mood or anxiety.

People with underlying conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, lung disease, heart disease or high blood pressure, are more likely to develop long-term complications from a COVID-19 infection.

A doctor can diagnose Long COVID. They can do this by assessing the symptoms that a person is still experiencing after recovering from the acute illness.

To help manage long COVID, it’s important to adjust your life to avoid exhausting yourself. Save your energy and rest often. Some symptoms can be helped with treatment.


Got other COVID questions? Get COVID clarity

Last reviewed: July 2022

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Queensland Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.