Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection. This has come to be known as post-COVID conditions or long COVID.
People call post-COVID conditions by many names, including: long COVID, long haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC), long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.
Long COVID can include a wide range of ongoing health problems; these conditions can last weeks, months, or years.
Long COVID is found more often in people who had severe COVID-19 illness, but anyone who has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long COVID, even people who had mild illness or no symptoms from COVID-19.
People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and become infected may also be at higher risk of developing long COVID compared to people who were vaccinated and still got COVID-19 (breakthrough infection).
There is no single test for long COVID. While most people with long COVID have evidence of infection or COVID-19 illness, in some cases, a person with long COVID may not have tested positive for the virus or known they were infected.
Long COVID is not COVID-19. Symptoms can be quite different from those experienced during the initial infection. It refers to the longer-term effects some people experience after their COVID-19 infection.