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How Long Do Symptoms of COVID Last?

by: Post-COVID Support Team

April 6, 2023

With millions of individuals becoming infected by the virus, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge influence on the population. While some people only have minor symptoms or none at all, others may experience severe symptoms that might continue for weeks. Understanding how long the symptoms of COVID-19 can remain and what factors can alter their duration is crucial given the emergence of new virus strains.

In this post, we will look at the different COVID-19 symptoms, how long they normally last and the variables that can affect how long they last. People can better prepare for their recovery and take the necessary precautions to stop the virus from spreading by being aware of how long COVID-19 symptoms last.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Despite being widely reported, some people still lack knowledge of the COVID-19 symptoms. Others merely base their judgment on how they feel when compared to COVID patients. But this shouldn’t always be the case because every person is different, let alone if they have any underlying health issues that are currently exacerbating their symptoms.

Hence, we will rely on the most reliable medical and governmental websites to inform us of the typical COVID-19 symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 possible symptoms are the following:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

This list is just a fraction of all possible COVID symptoms. With novel COVID-19 variations, symptoms may alter and differ according on immunity. CDC will keep updating this list as new information about COVID-19 becomes available. Older folks and those with existing medical disorders including diabetes, heart disease, or lung illness are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19.

How long do COVID symptoms last?

The typical COVID-19 incubation period is 2-14 days, which means that symptoms may start to show 2–14 days after virus contact.

Most individuals with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms will generally recover in 2-4 weeks. Even weeks or months after the initial infection, some people may continue to have symptoms or even acquire new ones, such as weariness, cognitive fog or shortness of breath.

Which symptoms generally last the longest?

Health experts say that people with COVID-19 usually get better within a few days or weeks after the infection. But the symptom that lasts longer is cough. Some people have cough that extends to 30 days, especially if the person has a lingering viral infection. Though the presence of cough doesn’t mean you are still contagious. Past 10 days, you may probably be feeling better except for the irritating cough.

The second most typical COVID-19 symptom that can last for a longer period of time is fatigue. This might induce a general feeling of exhaustion and tiredness since the immune system is working hard to fight off the virus. People may feel fatigued and worn out because the body is allocating resources and energy to create an immunological response.

Secondly, COVID-19 can harm a variety of bodily organs and systems, including the heart, lungs and brain. People may suffer persistent exhaustion during the recovery process as their bodies attempt to repair the damage, which might take time to heal.

COVID-19 can also have a serious negative effect on mental health, resulting in stress, anxiety and depression. Even after the infection has left the body, all of these circumstances can contribute to feelings of weariness and fatigue.

Does it matter what COVID strain you have?

A spike in COVID-19 cases, regardless of the exact variation, can have a considerable effect on healthcare resources. Even if a specific variant is known to cause a milder illness than others, an increase in the overall number of cases could lead to greater hospitalization rates, which would put a pressure on the healthcare system and perhaps raise the number of fatalities.

More versions are projected to be produced by COVID-19. Viruses are constantly changing, and occasionally these changes result in new virus strains. The virus may become more resistant to vaccines and treatments as a result of some mutations and alterations. The more the virus spreads, the harder it will be to stop it from mutating and becoming more difficult to stop.

How virus variants work

Researchers sequence the virus’ genetic material to hunt for modifications or mutations in order to better comprehend these variants. This data is utilized to monitor the virus’s spread and create specialized medicines and vaccinations.

Viruses, such as the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus, can experience genetic mutations over time, giving rise to new virus types with distinct properties. As the virus replicates within the cells of an infected person, these alterations take place.

Several of these modifications may increase the virus’s contagiousness, make it harder to treat, or make the immune system less effective. For instance, it is thought that the SARS-CoV-2 Delta form is more contagious and has the ability to overcome part of the immunity brought on by vaccinations or earlier infection.

How long does covid-19 last in a person?

Depending on a variety of variables such age, underlying medical conditions and immunity, for individuals with light cases, the recovery time usually lasts between one and two weeks, but for those with severe cases, it may take up to six weeks or longer to fully recover.

The illness’s severity may also result in long-lasting symptoms that might harm crucial organs like the heart, kidneys, lungs and brain. Even after the infection has left the body, these symptoms might linger, which can cause long-term issues and postpone the healing process.

What about Long COVID?

How long does Long COVID endure and what is it?

If you believe that it has been more than six weeks since you first experienced COVID and that you are still experiencing some of the symptoms, you may be suffering with Long COVID.

Long COVID, also known as Post COVID, long-tail COVID, post-acute COVID or long-haul COVID, may exhibit symptoms as a result of COVID-19’s long-term effects. Long-haulers, often known as COVID patients, can experience neurological, pulmonary and tiredness issues.

Possible causes of Long COVID

Long COVID’s precise causes are not yet fully understood, however a number of potential contributory factors exist, such as the following:

  1. Viral persistence — In certain situations, even after the initial infection has subsided, the virus may continue to exist in the body, causing continuing inflammation and symptoms.
  2. Immune dysregulation — COVID-19 has the potential to cause an excessive immunological response that may last even after the virus has left the body, resulting in persistent inflammation and symptoms
  3. Organ damage — COVID-19 has the potential to harm a number of organs, including the heart, lungs and brain, which could result in lingering symptoms and problems.
  4. Psychological factors — The pandemic’s social isolation, economic difficulty and the stress and trauma of the COVID-19 infection may all play a role in the development of persistent symptoms.
  5. Pre-existing ailments — Those who already have diseases including diabetes, hypertension or obesity may be more vulnerable to Long COVID.
  6. Variants of the virus — New data suggests that specific SARS-CoV-2 viral variants may be more prone to result in Long COVID.

How long does it take to recover from Long COVID?

Often referred to as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection or PASC, Long COVID is where people continue to have symptoms for weeks or months after contracting COVID-19. The severity of the initial infection, the patient’s age and general health, and the particular symptoms they encountered are just a few of the variables that might affect how long it takes to recover from Long COVID.

While some persons with Long COVID may recover in a few weeks or months, others may endure symptoms for up to six months. According to a study by the National Institute for Health Research in the UK, 14% of individuals had symptoms that persisted for more than 12 weeks. Yet, according to a different study that was published in The Lancet, up to one-third of those with COVID-19 may also have Long COVID symptoms.

What to do if Long COVID symptoms won’t go away

That’s why when you experience a long-haul COVID means the symptoms won’t go away.

Those who experienced severe COVID-19 incidents are more likely to experience long COVID, especially if they required hospitalization or intensive care. COVID long-haulers, however, either had no COVID-19 symptoms at all or only mild to moderate symptoms. In addition, women, African Americans, people with pre-existing medical issues, and people who have not received the COVID-19 immunization may be at a higher risk of developing extended COVID.

According to a report published in NIH Medline Plus, the National Institutes of Health advises that because Long COVID does not have a specific test or treatment, individuals should speak with a healthcare professional about their particular situation in order to rule out other potential causes of their symptoms. Once the underlying biological processes have been identified, it is simpler to treat and manage the symptoms in this manner.


Although COVID-19 symptoms can be difficult to treat and manage, these helped medical experts understand the behaviour of the virus and the constant emergence of new variants, and health experts are more prepared than ever.

COVID-19 symptoms can linger for weeks or even months, though this depends on the individual, the illness’s severity and other circumstances. Some people’s recurrence of these symptoms has resulted in the identification of a new condition called Long COVID, which calls for continuous medical care and management.

The symptoms leading to COVID have also spurred the medical community to make significant strides in our understanding and treatment of the virus. We are fortunate to have this knowledge to help us combat the virus and its variants, and we remain hopeful that we will ultimately overcome this global health crisis.

Are you one of the many that suffered from long symptoms of COVID? We are here to help. Reach out to us and join our community and discover how we can help you in many ways.