Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

Overview

Most people who have COVID-19 recover in 2 to 6 weeks with no long-term problems. But some people have health problems that last for weeks or months after they recover from the infection. This can happen even in cases where a hospital stay wasn't needed.

Common long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • A cough.
  • Chest pain.

Some people also report having:

  • Trouble thinking or concentrating ("brain fog").
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • A headache.
  • A fever that comes and goes.
  • A fast or pounding heartbeat (heart palpitations).

Other problems may include:

  • An inflamed heart muscle.
  • Lung problems.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Rashes and hair loss.
  • Smell and taste problems.
  • Problems with sleep.

If you've had COVID-19 and are having these problems, tell your doctor. Make sure the doctor knows that you had COVID-19.

Credits

Current as of: March 26, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine