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Long Lasting COVID-19 Symptoms & Treatment

Long Lasting COVID-19 Symptoms & Treatment

Over the two years of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, everyone has known someone who has tested positive, or has tested positive themselves. As we continue to recover from COVID-19 in our world, we continue to learn more about the long-term side effects and the characteristics of post-COVID-19 ― what is also known as long-haulers syndrome.

Post-COVID syndrome, also known as long-haul COVID-19 or long COVID-19, involves a wide range of health problems that occur for many weeks, months and years after recovering from COVID-19. Most experts agree that long-haul COVID-19 is not rare and occurs in at least 10%–20% of people who have had COVID-19.A person holding their head due to headache pain.

"This is a condition that is not rare and something that all of us in medicine have been seeing very frequently," says Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, a Mayo Clinic occupational medicine specialist. "We are now more than two years out working with this condition. And we have seen individuals who have had symptoms for a year and a half or two years after their infection. So, it does really seem appropriate — this name 'long-haul,' unfortunately."

Six Symptoms of Long-Haulers Syndrome

In a recent Mayo Clinic Minute, experts identified six main symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle ache or pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Headache

The two most common symptoms are shortness of breath and fatigue. Other symptoms can include dizziness, a rapid heart rate and "brain fog," or the inability to think clearly.A person lying in bed while coughing.

Other Lingering COVID-19 Symptoms:

  • Memory, concentration or sleep problems 
  • Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities
  • Dizziness when you stand
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Joint pain

Cases of long-haul COVID-19 and other post COVID-19 side effects aren't necessarily associated with having severe COVID-19 illness. For most people, they only had a mild illness. They didn't have to go to the hospital, the ER (emergency room) or even their primary care provider.

Researchers are making headway in better understanding long-haul COVID-19 and treating it with rehabilitation services, including occupational and physical therapy. Getting treatment earlier is better. If you're still having symptoms two or three weeks after recovering from COVID-19, contact your primary health care provider.


As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru Health System has access to Mayo Clinic knowledge, resources and expertise. This includes collaborating with Mayo Clinic specialists on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

Learn more about COVID-19.