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Long Covid FAQs

Long haul COVID involves experiencing a wide range of persistent symptoms and the development of new conditions four or more weeks after the initial COVID infection has cleared. Brain fog, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and other various symptoms are indicators. 

Long haul COVID are symptoms that occur for 12+ weeks. Your quality of life could be affected for months or even years after the initial illness. 

Yes, long haul COVID can affect your mental health, including experiencing anxiety, depression, insomnia, brain fog, and more. 

Cognitive functioning can be impaired with long haul COVID. Research is still being conducted, but many long haul COVID patients still experience brain fog and other cognitive issues years after the initial illness. 

Yes. While it’s important to stay active and exercise, too-intense workouts of vigorous activity before the body is healed could worsen long haul COVID symptoms. It’s wise to do slower, more gentle exercises for the time being. 

Yes, long haul COVID can cause sleep issues like insomnia. 

While there is currently no cure for long haul COVID, there are treatments available to help ease symptoms. This includes medications to manage pain, fatigue and sleep problems, rehabilitation modalities such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to help the body regulate itself again. Self-therapy includes shifting into eating a healthier diet, pacing (which is learning to schedule activities at the optimal time to conserve your energy), and 1-1 counseling or therapy, and there are some emerging medications out there still being tested that help treat various symptoms of long haul COVID. 

Yes. Long COVID can have serious implications on the immune system. Here’s what we know so far:


  • Studies show signs of immune dysfunction in long COVID patients, which includes persistent immune cell activation and markers of chronic inflammation.
  • Exhausted T cells - T cells are important when it comes to fighting off infections. This can leave patients with long COVID more susceptible to getting other illnesses. 
  • Along with inflammation, patients with long COVID have been found to have Thromboinflammation, a disruption in the blood clotting system. This can damage tissues and cause long-term complications. 
  • Autoantibody production: COVID might be linked to the production of autoantibodies, which are antibodies that mistakenly attack the body’s own tissues. This could contribute to autoimmune conditions. 

Yes, this is a very common side effect of long COVID. Studies show people can experience this weeks to months after their initial COVID-19 illness has cleared.

There are many ways COVID can affect the heart, including inflammation throughout the entire body, including the heart muscle (called myocarditis), which is the most common type. Chest pain, heart palpitations, blood clots, breathlessness, and increased stress on the heart are also common heart issues resulting from COVID, among others. 

Yes, you can get COVID twice. Reinfections have become more common due to the emergence of new variants and a diminished immune system over time. 

Unfortunately, there is no single test to determine if you have long COVID. If you suspect you may have long COVID, visit your doctor or healthcare provider. They will do a clinical assessment and determine the timing and severity of your symptoms. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing long COVID. Every individual is different, however long COVID typically lasts for weeks, months, or even years. Studies suggest the typical time to recover from long COVID takes 12-18 weeks, but it’s important to check in with your health care provider to assess your recovery. 

The most common reported symptoms of long haul COVID include:


  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Tiredness or chronic fatigue that affects daily activities
  • Symptoms that exacerbate with physical or mental effort 
  • Fever
  • Chest pain 
  • Cough 
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart
  • Brain fog: difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Headache
  • Insomnia or sleep issues
  • Dizziness when you stand up 
  • Pins-and-needles feeling
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Change in smell or taste 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Joint or muscle pain 
  • Rash 
  • Changes in menstrual cycle

Yes, COVID can implicate your immune system, at the very least temporarily. This happens from direct damage to your immune cells, lingering inflammation in the body and exhaustion of T cells (or immune cells), among other factors

There are many symptoms of long COVID, however, brain fog and fatigue are among the most common, along with breathlessness and heart palpitations.

Because the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection has passed, there is no live virus to spread to others, so luckily when you have long COVID, you will not pass it to others. 

Unfortunately, there is no single test to determine if you have long haul COVID, but an assessment of symptoms by a doctor/healthcare practitioner will help you determine what’s going on. Typically, this involves a clinical evaluation and discussion of your COVID illness, ruling out any other potential conditions or illnesses, and a possible exploration of new and emerging diagnostic tools, such as micronutrient testing, autonomic testing, and advanced MRI screens.

It’s possible to experience a renewed sense of wellbeing with our Long Haul COVID treatments—schedule your consultation with a Forum Health clinic today.

Citations & Sources:

A life altered by long COVID – Susan’s experience, 9 August 2022, World Health Organization

Autoimmune diseases articles from across Nature Portfolio, NaturePortfolio

Ayush Batra 1, Avindra Nath 2, Igor J Koralnik 1, “Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection” JAMA. 2023 Oct 17;330(15):1491-1492. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.15709.

Barbara Mantel, “Long Covid explanation in new study possibly paves way for tests and treatments”, Jan. 18, 2024, NBC News

“Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions”, March 14, 2024, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Ellen J. Thompson, Dylan M. Williams, Alex J. Walker, Ruth E. Mitchell, Claire L. Niedzwiedz, Tiffany C. Yang, Charlotte F. Huggins, Alex S. F. Kwong, Richard J. Silverwood, Giorgio Di Gessa, Ruth C. E. Bowyer, Kate Northstone, Bo Hou, Michael J. Green, Brian Dodgeon, Katie J. Doores, Emma L. Duncan, Frances M. K. Williams, OpenSAFELY Collaborative, “Long COVID Burden and Risk Factors in 10 UK Longitudinal Studies and Electronic Health Records, 28 June 2022, Nature Communications 

Jason Gale, “Patient Had COVID-19 for Record 613 Days”, Time

Jefferson Jones, MD MPH FAAP, CDR, US Public Health Service, “Infection-induced and hybrid immunity”, CDC Presentation

Kailin Yin, Michael J. Peluso, Xiaoyu Luo, Reuben Thomas, Min-Gyoung Shin, Jason Neidleman, Alicer Andrew, Kyrlia C. Young, Tongcui Ma, Rebecca Hoh, Khamal Anglin, Beatrice Huang, Urania Argueta, Monica Lopez, Daisy Valdivieso, Kofi Asare, Tyler-Marie Deveau, Sadie E. Munter, Rania Ibrahim, Ludger Ständker, Scott Lu, Sarah A. Goldberg, Sulggi A. Lee, Kara L. Lynch, J. Daniel Kelly, Jeffrey N. Martin, Jan Münch, Steven G. Deeks, Timothy J. Henrich & Nadia R. Roan, “Long COVID manifests with T cell dysregulation, inflammation and an uncoordinated adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2”, 11 January 2024. 

“Long COVID, What You Should Know”, American Family Physician. 

Marco Ranucci, Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Funding acquisition,1,* Ekaterina Baryshnikova, Methodology, Investigation, Data curation, Writing – review & editing, Project administration,1 Martina Anguissola, Investigation, Data curation, Project administration,1 Sara Pugliese, Investigation, Data curation, Project administration,1 Luca Ranucci, Investigation,1 Mara Falco, Conceptualization, Writing – original draft,2 and Lorenzo Menicanti, Conceptualization, Writing – review & editing3César Fernández De Las Peñas, Academic Editor, “The Very Long COVID: Persistence of Symptoms after 12–18 Months from the Onset of Infection and Hospitalization”, J Clin Med. 2023 Mar; 12(5): 1915.

Post-COVID Conditions: Information for Healthcare Providers, February 6, 2024, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“What is Long COVID? National Institutes of Health, COVID-19 Research

Wolfram Ruf, “Immune Damage in Long COVID”, 18 January, 2024, Science.