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How long does COVID last?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It spreads primarily through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face. 

Even though we’re no longer locked inside, COVID-19 remains a concern for many people, and despite progress in vaccination and public health measures, the virus lingers at reduced levels.

How long do COVID symptoms last?

COVID-19 can manifest in a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. It’s important to note that not everyone with COVID-19 will experience all symptoms, and some people may even remain asymptomatic while still being contagious.

These symptoms include: 


The duration of COVID-19 symptoms varies from person to person. While some people may experience symptoms for only a few days, others may have them for several weeks. 

However, on average, symptoms tend to resolve within two weeks for mild cases.

How long does Long COVID last?

While many people with COVID-19 feel better after a couple of weeks, some may continue to experience lingering effects known as Long COVID. These long-term effects can persist for weeks or even months after the initial illness has resolved.

Again, the duration of Long COVID varies widely from person to person. Some people may experience symptoms for a few weeks, while others may suffer for several months or even longer.

Frequently asked questions about COVID

How long does COVID-19 typically last?

COVID-19 symptoms usually last for about 2 weeks, but recovery time can vary based on severity and individual factors, like pre-existing health conditions.

What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?

The long-term effects of COVID-19 can include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, headaches, muscle pain, and more. These symptoms may persist for weeks to months after the initial illness.

Can COVID-19 symptoms persist after recovery?

COVID-19 symptoms can persist after recovery, known as Long COVID. This condition can cause ongoing symptoms like fatigue, chest pain, and difficulty concentrating, lasting for weeks or months.

A photo of a negative COVID test taken after someone has self-isolated and kept vulnerable people safe.

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