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Recovery

More than 8 million Australians have tested positive to COVID-19. Experts say it is likely an increasing number of people will experience ongoing symptoms after contracting COVID-19.

Tips for recovering from COVID-19

Recovering from COVID-19 will be different for everyone and may be affected by a range of factors, including your overall health. Most people will feel better within a few days or weeks of the initial infection. There are things you can do to help your body to recover, including:

  • Taking the time to rest. This is important when you initially become infected, but you may also find that you need to return to your normal activity slowly over a number of weeks.
  • Eat well and ensure you’re staying hydrated.
  • When you can, return to gentle movement such as walking and stretching. If you can do this outside to ensure you’re getting sufficient Vitamin D, that’s even better.
  • Don’t ignore your mental health and emotional wellbeing. Staying connected with others and making time to practice self-care can make all the difference.

For some people, the symptoms may last much longer and could indicate that you have long COVID.

Managing long COVID

If your symptoms have lasted longer than four weeks after becoming infected with COVID-19, it’s important to discuss these with your healthcare team or GP. The symptoms may require further investigation to help determine a management plan.  Long COVID can affect anyone who has been infected with COVID, regardless of whether your initial infection was mild or severe. There is research underway around the world to understand more about long COVID and how to manage it. 

Long COVID symptoms

Symptoms of long COVID can vary from person-to-person but some of the common symptoms include:

Tiredness and fatigue

shortness of breath

Persistent cough

Heart palpitations

Difficulty concentrating

Headaches

Difficulty sleeping

Disturbance of gastrointestinal system like nausea

If you experience any of the following, you should seek urgent medical attention:
Sudden chest pain or tightness
Difficulty breathing
Confusion
Fainting or collapse

Treating long COVID

Diagnosing long COVID can be difficult. Management of long COVID symptoms can depend on a range of factors. Your GP will be your initial point of contact and can help you create a tailored plan for monitoring and managing any ongoing symptoms. This may include referral to a range of health professionals such as a physiotherapist, respiratory specialist, dietician or psychologist.

Some states and territories have established dedicated clinics to support people to manage long COVID. Visit your state government website for more information about what may be available in your area.