Around the world, people are working to better recognise, understand and treat Long-COVID. Most people recover from COVID-19 within several weeks, but some people may continue to experience symptoms which can affect multiple systems in the body, such as:
- Chest pain
- Muscle or joint pain
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations or tachycardia
- Post exertional malaise (PEM) (worsened symptoms after physical or mental exertion)
- Loss of smell or taste
- Body rash
- Cognitive impairment, including trouble thinking clearly, focusing, or remembering
- Depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep disturbance
For information and advice, you can call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. You can also find more information about symptoms and recovery from COVID-19 here.
Are you experiencing ongoing COVID-19 symptoms?
You can join the Australian Long-COVID Facebook community group, run by members of the Long-COVID Australia Collaboration Lived Experience group, here.
Please follow up with your regular GP if you are experiencing ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 illness. If you do not have a regular GP, you can find a GP practice in your area by visiting health direct. This resource for GPs describes some of the issues that GPs are managing in COVID-19 patients. Because Long-COVID is a new illness, it is unlikely that a single visit will be enough to treat your symptoms. For this reason, keeping in touch with a GP your trust throughout your recovery from COVID-19 is recommended.
Your GP may use Health Pathways to inform your care. You may also find it useful to read the World Health Organisation self-management guide for rehabilitation after COVID-19 illness. This guide provides information about recovery from COVID-19 and includes a symptom tracking diary (page 24) that you may wish to work through with your preferred GP or allied health professional. You can also watch the accompanying online videos:
Overview about rehabilitation
Managing problems with attention, memory, and thinking clearly
Managing activities of daily living
Managing problems with eating, drinking and swallowing
Exercise after COVID-19 related illness
Managing problems with your voice
Some people may need additional care and rehabilitation at specialist Long-COVID clinics. Specialist clinics are being developed as we learn more about how the Australian Health system can best respond to Long-COVID. Generally, you will need a referral from your GP or specialist to access a clinic. This space will be updated as more information becomes available.
- The St Vincent’s Hospital Long-COVID outpatient clinic is located in Sydney. Click here for more information.
- Epworth, a private hospital group, runs a range of Long-COVID rehabilitation programs via Telehealth and at Brighton, Camberwell, Geelong, Hawthorn and Richmond. Click here for more information.
- The Royal Adelaide Hospital Long-COVID assessment clinic is located in Adelaide. Click here for more information.
- The University of Canberra Hospital Post-COVID recovery clinic is located in Bruce. Click here for more information.
Treatment and evidence
Evidence and treatment guidelines for Long-COVID are currently limited in Australia.
- The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has put together a care flowchart for people with Long-COVID.
- The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation has collated a living evidence table for recognising symptoms, assessment and management of Long-COVID.
- The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation has created a clinical practice guide for NSW health clinicians
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