ATLANTA, USA, (CDC) – Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after infection. Some people can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as post-COVID conditions or long COVID.
People with post-COVID conditions can have a wide range of symptoms that can last weeks, months, or years. Sometimes the symptoms will go away but return later.
Post-COVID conditions are 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 post-COVID conditions.
There is no test to diagnose post-COVID conditions, and symptoms could come from other health problems. This can make it difficult for healthcare providers to recognize post-COVID conditions. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of post-COVID conditions based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health examination.
“Long COVID,” also known as post-COVID conditions, can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Post-COVID conditions: CDC science
CDC is working to understand more about who experiences post-COVID conditions and why, including whether groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 are at higher risk.
CDC is analyzing healthcare data, partnering with clinicians, and working with researchers to learn more by doing research on post-COVID conditions in a variety of populations and settings.
CDC and its partners are working to:
- Characterize and assess post-COVID conditions to provide estimates on the prevalence (number) and incidence (frequency) of people experiencing post-COVID conditions by demographic group, symptom, and new diagnosis.
- Identify successful interventions to prevent and lessen the effect of post-COVID conditions.
- Share clinical guidance and other education materials for healthcare providers, patients, and the public to improve understanding of post-COVID conditions and reduce stigma.
Wearing masks in travel and public transportation settings
At this time, for people aged 2 years or older including passengers and workers – CDC recommends properly wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, buses, ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, and seaports).
When people properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator, they protect themselves and those around them, and help keep travel and public transportation safer for everyone.
Wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator is most beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated locations, such as airport jetways. CDC also encourages operators of public transportation and transportation hubs to support mask-wearing by all people, including employees.
This public health recommendation is based on the currently available data, including an understanding of domestic and global epidemiology, circulating variants and their impact on disease severity and vaccine effectiveness, current trends in COVID-19 Community Levels within the United States, and projections of COVID-19 trends in the coming months.