Long Term Effects of Covid-19 – What We Know So Far

Many organs besides the lungs are affected by COVID-19, & there are many ways it can affect someone’s health. While most people with COVID-19 recover & return to normal, some patients can have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after recovery from acute illness. Even people who are not hospitalized & who have mild illness, can experience persistent or late symptoms [1]

There is no standard recovery from coronavirus, and everyone is different. In some instances, COVID-19 symptoms can go on for weeks, or even months after the infection has disappeared. This scenario is known as ‘long COVID.’

Of note, the risk of having long-term symptoms does not appear to be connected to how ill you become when you first get the virus. Indeed, individuals who at the outset, just endure mild symptoms, can still suffer from long-term issues [2]. So to that end, lets put the Spotlight on what we do actually know about long COVID.

Symptoms of long COVID

The most reported long-term symptoms comprise:

• Coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Fatigue
• Chest pain
• Joint pain [2]

Further reported long-term symptoms include:

• Brain fog (difficulty concentrating and thinking)
• Headaches
• Muscular pain
• Depression
• Palpitations (a pounding/fast-beating heart)
• Periodic fever [1]

More Serious Long-Term Complications

Whilst these are far less likely, they do nonetheless exist. Moreover, they have been shown to impact a number of organ systems within the body. These incorporate:

• Respiratory: irregular lung function
• Cardiovascular: inflammation of the heart muscle
• Renal: intense kidney injury
• Neurological: taste and smell issues, sleep problems, memory troubles, and difficulty focusing
• Dermatologic: loss of hair, a skin rash
• Psychiatric: mood swings, anxiety, and depression [1]

Thus far, the long-term significance of these effects are unknown, although active investigation in the UK, US, and many other parts of the world, is ongoing, and no doubt, as new data emerges, information will be made available to the general public.

Seeking Help From a Pain Specialist

If you are suffering from any type of pain which has not been helped by your general practitioner, then contact a registered, experienced pain specialist.


[1]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). “Long-Term Effects of COVID-19.”
Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 | CDC

[2]. NHS (2021). “Long-term effects of coronavirus (long COVID).”
Long-term effects of coronavirus (long COVID) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)