Long COVID: The Facts and Figures

What is long COVID?

Long COVID has been defined as the presence of signs and symptoms which develop during or following a COVID-19 infection that can continue for 12 weeks or more.


Who does it affect?

1 in 10 people will exhibit covid symptoms lasting more than 12 weeks.

Long COVID affects people who have been hospitalised with acute COVID-19 and those who recovered at home. Individuals who have experienced either mild or severe COVID-19 can have prolonged symptoms or develop Long COVID.


What are the symptoms?

There are over 200 listed symptoms that occur in variable combinations.
The most common symptoms of long covid are:

  • Extreme exhaustion (fatigue)
  • Post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE)
  • Problems with memory and concentration (brain fog)

How can physio help?

Physiotherapists are crucial in early and ongoing rehabilitation. They can help with:

  • Early mobilisation and getting moving again
  • Simple exercises
  • Getting back to the activities of daily living
  • Lung recovery
  • Managing breathlessness
  • Coping with fatigue
  • Finding the balance between being active and taking rest

It takes time to recover from a severe illness. A physiotherapist can help people manage their symptoms and work with them to support their recovery.