Living with Long Covid (also known as Post Covid)

This page contains information to support people who have been dwoman headache.jpgiagnosed with Long Covid Syndrome (also known as Post Covid). If you are experiencing, or have been diagnosed with Long Covid symptoms, then this site is here to help you manage your condition. 

If you think you may have symptoms, please make an appointment to see a clinician at your GP practice in the first instance. For urgent problems, please call NHS 111.

The page features information on symptoms, support available, answers to questions you may have and advice.

What is Long Covid?

Click on the image below to play the animation about Long Covid and the symptoms associated with it.

Post Covid animation screen grab professionals.png        Long covid screen grab subtitles.png

Symptoms of Long (Post) Covid

Some of the common lasting symptoms of coronavirus can include:

  • fatigue
  • breathlessness or shortness of breath
  • difficulty sleeping
  • anxiety and depression
  • heart palpitations
  • chest tightness or pain
  • joint or muscle pain
  • not being able to think straight or focus (‘brain fog’) 
  • change to your sense of smell or taste
  • persistent cough

For some people, coronavirus (Covid) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone.

The length of time it takes to recover from Covid is different for everybody.

Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.

The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get Covid.

People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.

How common is Long Covid?

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) March 2023 states that “1.9 million people are living with Long Covid, which is 2.9% of the population”

How long does it last?

The available evidence tells us recovery is different for everyone. Symptoms may persist for weeks or months. That’s why it’s very important to find the right treatment and support. 

Figures from the ONS suggest that “68% reported experiencing symptoms for at least 1 year, 41% for at least 2 years”.

There is a lot you can do to help yourself, depending on your symptoms. Click here to find out more. 

Why are some people affected and not others?

We don't yet know why some people develop Long Covid and others do not. Clinicians and researchers are working hard to answer this question.

When should I seek urgent medical help?

If you are unsure whether to get medical help with your symptoms then refer to the guidance in Your Covid Recovery When Do I Need To Seek Help? | Your COVID Recovery

Can I pass Long Covid on to anyone else?

Long Covid is not contagious. Symptoms are caused by your body's response to the virus continuing beyond the initial illness.

Can children get Long Covid?

Yes, some children can get Long Covid after having covid. This site offers information for parents and children who have long covid.

Long Covid Kids | What is Long Covid Kids? | Long Lasting Covid Symptoms

I’m too ill to work, what can I do?

Speak to your GP about getting a Fit Note is you are concerned that your symptoms mean you cannot work. It might also be helpful to speak to your GP about a referral to the NWL Long Covid Service.

Coronavirus - if you're worried about working - Citizens Advice

Returning To Work | Your COVID Recovery


What treatment is available?

Many different types of support are available across North West London, including one-to-one and group sessions. These are usually offered virtually. You may also be offered support via a clinician supported self-help app. Support may be offered for the following difficulties:

  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive changes (brain fog)
  • Breathlessness
  • Medical investigations, where appropriate
  • Mental health difficulties related to your diagnosis
  • Managing or returning to work

Where can I find local long-covid assessment clinics in North West London?

To access further support for Long Covid, speak to your GP who can make a referral for you. If the referral is accepted, you may be invited to a virtual assessment or to a face-to-face assessment to determine what further support or treatment may be helpful . Long Covid assessment clinics run from the following locations

  • St Mary’s Hospital
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • West Middlesex Hospital
  • Charing Cross Hospital
  • Central Middlesex Hospital

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