Symptoms of COVID-19: Symptoms of COVID-19 and long COVID
The coronavirus causes respiratory infection with symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle pain, and fatigue. Long-term symptoms after a coronavirus infection (COVID-19) are referred to as long COVID, when the symptoms have persisted more than 3 months.
COVID-19 causes a sudden respiratory tract infection. The most common symptoms of a COVID-19 infection are very similar to those of other, milder respiratory tract infections: fever, cough, muscle aches and pains and tiredness. Other types of symptoms, such as gastrointestinal and eye symptoms, are also associated with COVID-19.
Symptoms alone do not indicate whether the respiratory infection is caused by COVID-19 or by another kind of bacteria or virus.
Symptoms of COVID-19
- headache, muscle aches and pains
- runny nose, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever
- changes in sense of taste or smell
- ambiguous gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and diarrhea
Avoid attending mass gatherings, in-person meetings, or parties if you have symptoms. Other people appreciate that you don't expose them to any respiratory infections, such as COVID-19 or influenza.
If you suspect COVID-19 or need to be quickly tested for COVID-19, follow these steps:
- If you experience symptoms and have been exposed, contact Digital Clinic.
- If you need to be tested for travel or an event, go to the COVID-19 test online store.
- Choose your preferred COVID-19 testing station.
- Check the COVID-19 test prices.
Symptoms and treatment of long COVID
The infection is considered “long COVID” when the symptoms persist for more than 3 months. Long-term symptoms may occur in several organs at the same time. There are not yet uniform diagnostic criteria for long COVID.
Symptoms are aggravated by sleep deprivation as well as cognitive and physical stress. Long-term symptoms vary and may recur after healthier periods.
Symptoms of long COVID
The most common symptom of long COVID is fatigue that is not simply tiredness but is manifested as an inability to cope with everyday tasks, a lack of energy and an uncomfortable feeling that does not go away, even with rest.
Other common symptoms of long COVID include memory problems, concentration problems and cognitive disturbances, also known as brain fog.
Other symptoms of long COVID:
- shortness of breath
- chronic pain
- muscle aches and pains
Other long-term symptoms include symptoms of the skin, sense of smell, nervous system, eyes, cardiovascular and respiratory system and abdominal area.
Mental health disorders, particularly anxiety, have been observed in patients with long-term symptoms in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder.
When should you see a doctor?
If the long-term symptoms of COVID-19 persist for weeks or months and affect your functional capacity, seek medical attention.
Other conditions may have symptoms similar to long-term COVID symptoms and, therefore, a doctor needs to evaluate the possibility of other illnesses and plan the necessary follow-up examinations or tests.
The diagnosis of long-term symptoms is based on the symptoms and the exclusion of other diseases.
If you have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, we recommend that you contact Digital Clinic or make an appointment at one of our respiratory clinics.
You can also make an appointment by calling our customer service on +358 (0)10 414 1848 (local network rate/mobile charge) (EUR 0.0835 per call + EUR 0.1669 per minute).
Treatment of long COVID
The long-term symptoms usually ease over a period of months. There is currently no exact treatment for the long-term symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, and the treatment is planned according to the symptoms.
Because of the complexity of the syndrome, holistic and multidisciplinary treatment, together with physiotherapists and mental health professionals, is often beneficial.
Page last updated: 17 November 2023