Post COVID-19 condition

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When people still show symptoms of COVID-19 for weeks or months after their initial recovery, it’s called post COVID-19 condition. It’s also known as long COVID.

Post COVID-19 condition may occur in some people after infection. You can get post COVID-19 condition if you:

You may experience symptoms even if you weren’t formally tested and diagnosed with COVID-19. This may have been due to limited testing capacity at the beginning of the pandemic.

Post COVID-19 condition is not COVID-19. Symptoms can be quite different from those during the initial infection. It refers to the longer-term effects some people experience after their COVID-19 illness.

The condition can affect both adults and children.

Symptoms

Adults

Post COVID-19 condition can affect people in different ways. The most common symptoms that we know of in adults include:

There have been reports of more than 100 symptoms or difficulties with everyday activities. About 80% of adults reported 1 or more symptoms in the short term (4 to 12 weeks after their initial COVID-19 infection).

About 60% reported 1 or more symptoms in the long term (more than 12 weeks after their initial COVID-19 infection). And 10% said that they were also unable to return to work in the long term.

Children

The most common symptoms that we know of in children include:

About 58% of children had 1 or more symptoms 4 weeks or more after their initial COVID-19 infection.

These symptoms can be mild to severe, and can sometimes disappear and reappear. Some patients report that over-exertion (both mental and physical) may make the condition worse.

Mental health

While it’s normal to feel a range of emotions at this time, some feelings or symptoms may indicate you or a loved one need help.

Talk to your health care provider if you think you may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression or PTSD related to your illness. These professionals can help you get the support you need.

Prevention, diagnosis and treatment

We don’t know what causes post COVID-19 condition. The best way to prevent it is to take measures to prevent COVID-19, like getting vaccinated.

There's currently no single way to diagnose post COVID-19 condition. The World Health Organization is working to develop a diagnostic process for health care providers to follow.

There’s currently no treatment for post COVID-19 condition as a whole. If you think you have post COVID-19 condition, talk to your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms.

Learn more about:

What Canada’s doing

The Public Health Agency of Canada is reviewing published studies on post COVID-19 condition, including:

We’re also looking at how to track cases of the condition and related symptoms in Canada, in partnership with:

We’re also working with other federal partners to gather evidence to support our research, like the:

Related links

Publications and information

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