Fact Sheet

The Journey to Understanding Long COVID

Scientists are working to better understand Long COVID. You can help in the search for answers by volunteering for research studies.


What is Long COVID?

Long COVID affects people for weeks, months, or even longer after getting COVID-19. It does not affect everyone the same way. The symptoms may:

  • Start soon after infection or after you’ve already recovered from COVID-19.
  • Come and go.
  • Be different than the symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Go away with time.

Even if you don’t feel sick when you first get COVID-19, you can develop Long COVID symptoms later.

Common symptoms:

  • Feeling weak and tired
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble thinking
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Worrying too much or feeling very sad

If you think you might have Long COVID, talk with your health care provider.

You can help scientists understand Long COVID

The NIH RECOVER Initiative seeks to understand, prevent, and test possible Long COVID treatments. Anyone can help us learn more about Long COVID by volunteering to join a research study. This includes people who:

  • Have COVID-19 now
  • Had COVID-19 in the past
  • Have never had COVID-19

Scientists are working to understand how Long COVID affects different people. That’s why studies need to include volunteers of all:

  • Races and ethnicities
  • Genders
  • Ages
  • Jobs, education levels, and incomes
  • Health conditions
  • U.S. locations

It is very important that communities of color are represented in this research because they have been hit especially hard by COVID-19.

Your rights are protected

Your rights and personal information are protected if you sign up for a research study. RECOVER, like most studies, has safety monitors, people who make sure the rules that keep you safe are always followed. This includes independent groups who are separate from the people conducting the studies.

Learn more about the RECOVER Initiative and its research studies at recovercovid.org.

Spanish Version: El camino a entender el COVID persistente