After catching COVID-19, some people can feel unwell and take longer to get better than others. Long COVID can affect any part of your body with different symptoms

Ongoing or new symptoms of COVID-19 can change and come and go over time. To describe these symptoms, healthcare professionals may use different terms. ‘Long COVID’ is one of them.

In this booklet we use ‘long COVID’ to mean signs and symptoms that last more than four weeks after you get COVID-19. When talking about long COVID, these are the definitions that healthcare professionals use:

Covid imageAcute COVID-19:signs and symptoms that last up to four weeks. ‘Acute’ refers to first the signs of infection, rather than the severity of the illness.

Covid imageOngoing symptomatic COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from four weeks up to 12 weeks.

Covid imagePost-COVID-19 syndrome: signs and symptoms which develop during or after an infection that is consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by another diagnosis.

Information about signs and symptoms that develop during or following COVID-19 can be found on the Your COVID Recovery website here: or NHS Inform,