Some people have new, returning, or lingering symptoms around weeks or months after having COVID-19. This is referred to as post-COVID conditions, long COVID, long haul COVID, or other names. People with these conditions are sometimes called "long-haulers." Since July 2021, "long COVID," has been considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Anyone who had COVID-19 can develop post-COVID conditions, including people who had COVID-19 with no symptoms or very mild symptoms. It can happen to people in any age group but appears to be less common in children compared to adults.
Symptoms of Post-COVID Conditions
Symptoms of post-COVID conditions can be different from person to person but may include one or more of the following:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as "brain fog")
- Chest or stomach pain
- Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
- Joint or muscle pain
- Pins-and-needles feeling
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
- Mood changes
- Change in smell or taste
- Changes in menstrual period cycles
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 in California
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all our lives. Beyond the physical and mental health effects of the pandemic — there are many other factors such as loss of income, loss of family and friends, delayed health screenings and health care for chronic diseases, loss of time in school for children, and more that will impact Californians for years to come.
Given the imbalance in the number of COVID-19 cases between certain communities of different economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds, these heavily impacted communities will also likely be more disproportionately impacted by the long-term consequences of COVID-19. CDPH is committed to understanding how the pandemic has changed lives to address what can be done now and in the future for both immediate and long-term needs around COVID-19 and future public health emergencies. Community driven information, partnerships and data will inform future critical decision making so that policy makers can develop policies, strategies, and programs, and direct resources to the individuals and communities most in need.
For more information about how CDPH plans to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in California, please read Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 in California.
Originally posted on February 25, 2022