Long COVID or post-COVID-19 conditions

Long COVID, now known as post-COVID conditions, is when some people continue to feel unwell 3 months after getting COVID-19.

The time it takes to recover from COVID-19 is different for every person. Most people will recover within 4 weeks, but others may take 4 to 12 weeks.

If someone experiences symptoms 12 weeks after getting COVID-19, they may be experiencing post-COVID-19 conditions.

Common symptoms of long COVID

Common symptoms of long COVID include:

  • fatigue or extreme tiredness
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • memory, concentration or sleep problems (known as ‘brain fog’)
  • persistent cough
  • hoarse voice
  • chest pain
  • trouble speaking
  • joint or muscle aches
  • change in sense of taste or smell
  • low mood
  • difficulty going about everyday activities such as work or household chores.

If you are not getting better after 6 weeks, speak to your GP or primary health care clinic. They may do some tests to see if your symptoms are caused by long COVID or another health condition.

You can have long COVID even if your initial case of COVID-19 was mild. Some people develop new symptoms or have symptoms that come and go.

It is also possible to get repeat infections of COVID-19. If you have recovered and are experiencing new COVID-19 symptoms more than 28 days later, you should get tested for COVID-19.


It is not yet clear why some people experience long COVID. Studies suggest vaccinated people are less likely to have long COVID symptoms.

The best way of minimising your risk of long COVID is to protect yourself from COVID-19 itself. Early evidence from overseas suggests that resting and not returning to exercise until you have completely recovered may reduce the risk of developing post-COVID-19 conditions.


If you have had COVID-19, it is possible that you may experience long COVID. Territorians aged 18 years and over are invited to complete a self-assessment tool if it’s been more than 12 weeks since your COVID-19 infection.

This brief self-assessment will:

  • Allow you to reflect on your recovery and whether you need to check in with your GP or Primary Care Clinic for ongoing effects of COVID-19.
  • Allow us to understand the ongoing impact of post COVID-19 symptoms in the NT community and how we may continue to support those with post COVID-19 conditions.

Please use the post COVID-19 self-assessment form if you have not previously completed it.

Find support

Everyone’s experience after COVID-19 will be different. If you need help, talk to your regular doctor (GP) or primary health care clinic.

range of support services are available to help Territorians stay informed about COVID-19 and keep well.

Your family and friends can help your recovery so reach out and ask for support if you need it.

If your symptoms are life threatening or you need immediate assistance, call triple zero (000).

Last updated: 24 August 2022

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Last updated: 24 August 2022