When is it considered post-COVID-19 syndrome?
It can take up to three weeks to recover from a COVID-19 infection. Mayo Clinic defines post COVID-19 syndrome as symptoms that continue four or more weeks after the start of a COVID-19 infection, either by symptoms or by a positive COVD-19 test. Some people with post COVID-19 syndrome may recover in a few weeks. For others it may take several months. Unfortunately, some people may have chronic symptoms that never go away.
Common symptoms include:
- Severe fatigue or tiredness, sometimes lasting days after activity
- Shortness of breath
- Troubles thinking
- Muscle or joint pain
Other less common symptoms include:
- Troubles sleeping
- Rapid heartbeat
- Hair loss
- Altered taste or smell
Anyone who has had COVID-19 may develop continuing symptoms. It does seem to be more common in people who had a more severe course, especially for those who were hospitalized. It may also occur in those who initially had none or minimal symptoms. From our experience, we tend to see post-COVID-19 symptoms more commonly in women, and why this is remains unclear at this time. Find out more information on long term effects of COVID-19 on MayoClinic.org. Our Self-Care section is a great starting point.
If you suspect you may have come into contact with COVID-19, or if you tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered from the acute infection, you may be able to get tested for antibodies. Antibody testing cannot be done at home, but testing sites are becoming more readily available in many areas. Contact your primary care provider to discuss how to get tested. If you have not had a positive COVID-19 test or positive antibody testing, you may not be eligible for the Post-COVID-19 Care Clinic. Your primary care provider may be able to refer you to see one of our providers at Mayo Clinic for your specific symptoms. Learn more about COVID-19 diagnostic testing and antibody testing.