What is Long COVID?

Most people who catch COVID don't become severely ill and get better relatively quickly but for some people the effects of COVID -19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness.  This is called Long COVID (also called Post-COVID syndrome).

​Long COVID symptoms are defined as usually lasting at least 2 months from the onset of COVID -19 with symptoms that cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.  

​Symptoms of Long COVID

There are lots of symptoms you can have after a COVID-19 infection. Common long COVID symptoms include:

  • ​extreme tiredness (fatigue)

  • shortness of breath

  • chest pain or tightness

  • problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")

  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

  • heart palpitations

  • dizziness

  • pins and needles

  • joint pain

  • depression and anxiety

  • tinnitus, earaches

  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite

  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste

  • rashes


If you are worried about on-going COVID symptoms that have been over a month or more after having COVID-19 you should contact your GP who can refer you for further tests to rule out any other conditions If the GP identifies Long COVID, you will be referred to the Long COVID Service by your GP.  

​Further information on Long COVID can be found on the NHS website.

A short informative film has been made looking at the Specialist post-COVID service at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary