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What is Post-COVID-19 Syndrome? 

Post-COVID-19 Syndrome has been defined as the presence of signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. 

You may have heard of a few terms to describe an illness with COVID-19:

  • Acute COVID-19: this usually describes signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for up to 4 weeks from the onset of symptoms.
  • Ongoing symptomatic COVID-19: this describes people who are having signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from four to 12 weeks from the onset of symptoms.
  • Post-COVID-19 Syndrome: this describes signs and symptoms that are present after 12 weeks from the onset of symptoms. These signs and symptoms may have developed during the initial illness or developed later on.

These terms are used by healthcare staff to help us monitor the progression of illness. ‘Long COVID' is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after acute COVID‑19. This can be used to describe anyone who is having ongoing symptoms after the four-week mark.

Throughout this booklet we will refer to use the term ‘Long COVID’ to describe patients with persisting symptoms past four weeks as this is the most commonly understood term amongst patient groups.