Post COVID-19 condition (long COVID)

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Post COVID-19 condition is when the symptoms of COVID-19 persist for more than 12 weeks after the infection. It's also known as long COVID, and can affect both adults and children.

You can show symptoms of post COVID-19 condition even if you:

Post COVID-19 condition is not COVID-19. Symptoms can persist for weeks or months from the initial COVID-19 infection, but you can also develop new ones.


Post COVID-19 condition affects everyone differently, and there have been reports of over 100 symptoms. The most common in adults are:

The most common symptoms in children include:

Symptoms can vary in severity, and can sometimes disappear and reappear without having another diagnosis to explain them. Some patients report that physical and mental over-exertion can make the condition worse.

If you're unable to work because of your symptoms, you may be eligible for disability benefits or employment insurance (EI).

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Long-term effects

Post COVID-19 condition is relatively new, and research into it is ongoing. We released preliminary results of the Canadian COVID-19 Antibody and Health Survey in October 2022. The survey found that around 15% of adults who got COVID-19 experienced, or still experience, longer-term symptoms 3 or more months following their initial COVID-19 infection.

Of the adults with longer-term symptoms:

These findings are consistent with other international studies.

Mental health

People with post COVID-19 condition often report changes to their mental health, including increased anxiety and depression.

Talk to your health care provider if you think that you may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. They can help you find support.

People at greater risk

Evidence around risk factors is still evolving, but current evidence suggests that some people might be more at risk of developing post COVID-19 condition. These include:

Further studies are being closely watched for the potential impacts of the condition on different subpopulations, including people who:

A few studies have suggested that post COVID-19 condition may be more common in adults than in children. However, estimates of how common the condition is in different age groups will become more precise as new evidence emerges.


The best way to prevent post COVID-19 condition is to take measures to avoid getting or spreading the infection, such as:

This can also protect people who are at risk of more severe disease.

Vaccination is also one of the most effective ways to protect against severe outcomes from COVID-19. Evidence suggests that receiving two 2 or more vaccine doses before infection helps to reduce the risk of developing post COVID-19 condition.

In addition to vaccination, the Government of Canada has also taken measures to secure safe and effective COVID-19 therapies. When used properly, COVID-19 therapies can help reduce the severity of symptoms and improve outcomes for individuals who get the virus.

The government has made efforts to secure a range of therapies so that people in Canada have access to the most effective treatments available. These efforts are part of a bigger plan to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of people in Canada. Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe outcomes from COVID-19. However, the availability of safe and effective therapies is an important tool to limit the spread of this disease.

Canada continues to monitor new developments to learn more about other preventive measures.

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Diagnosis and treatment

There are currently no diagnostic tests or treatments for post COVID-19 condition. If you think you have the condition, talk to your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms.

Some provinces have opened clinics that provide care to people with post COVID-19 condition. Contact your provincial or territorial health system to find out which services are available to you.

COVID-19: Provincial and territorial resources

What Canada's doing

We continue to work with partners to conduct and support scientific activities to:

Budget 2022 allocated $9 million to the Public Health Agency of Canada over 3 years. This will go towards creating and evaluating evidence-based guidelines and tools to support:

Budget 2022 also provides $20 million over 5 years to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. This supports research related to the long-term effects of COVID-19 infections on people living in Canada.

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Canadian COVID-19 Antibody and Health Survey

The Canadian COVID-19 Antibody and Health Survey was sent to 100,000 randomly selected adults across 10 provinces. We'll use it to:

Preliminary results from this survey provided valuable insight on longer-term COVID-19 symptoms in adults in Canada. The survey released final results in the fall of 2023.

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Task Force on Post COVID-19 Condition

In August 2022, the Task Force on Post COVID-19 Condition was established to develop a scientific roadmap designed to manage post COVID-19 condition. The roadmap will:

The Task Force released an executive summary of their report in December 2022 and published the full report in March 2023. We're currently reviewing the recommendations, which will help us plan future responses to post COVID-19 condition.

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Post COVID-19 Condition Secretariat

The Post COVID-19 Condition Secretariat, housed within the Public Health Agency of Canada, has been established to bring greater coordination and strategic direction to the on-going work relating to the condition. This includes coordinating a whole-of-government approach in taking action to address evidence and data gaps around the condition, along with supporting Canadians in managing and eventually recovering from it.

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