How to Look After Yourself at Home if You Have Coronavirus
Most people with coronavirus (COVID-19) feel better within a few weeks. You may be able to look after yourself at home while you recover.
Supporting Your Recovery after COVID-19
As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind. These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help. Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.
What is Long Covid?
Most infections with COVID resolve within the first 4 weeks. “Long COVID” is an informal term that is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after an acute infection of COVID. Depending on how long you have ongoing symptoms for, it can be called one of 2 things:
- Ongoing symptomatic COVID
This is where your symptoms continue for more than 4 weeks. If your symptoms last for longer than 12 weeks, it will then be called;
- Post-COVID Syndrome
This is where your ongoing symptoms continue for longer than 12 weeks and cannot be explained by any other condition.
Support for Managing Long Covid
- To help you understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery: Your COVID Recovery | Supporting your recovery after COVID-19
- Facebook mutual support group started by a counsellor in Northamptonshire who was suffering symptoms of long COVID: (9) Covid-19 UK & Ireland Sufferer & Survivor Support | Facebook
- Information and workbook to help you manage symptoms following COVID-19: Post COVID-19 Patient information pack (homerton.nhs.uk)
- Advice, information and support with an overview of self-management: Recovery post Covid-19 Coronavirus. Post Viral Illness & Fatigue, Advice, Information & Support for (torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk)
- Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation helpline for patients with ongoing breathing difficulty after COVID-19: Post-COVID HUB - By Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation (post-covid.org.uk)
When do I Need to Seek Help?
If you are concerned about new or worsening symptoms four or more weeks after your COVID-19 infection then you should seek further advice. However, some of your symptoms may be part of normal recovery and continue to improve. There is some useful advice on the following link:
Experience with other similar bacterial and viral infections suggests that most people will recover within the following times:
- 4 weeks – most of the chest pains and phlegm should have reduced
- 6 weeks – your cough and breathlessness should have reduced
- 3 months – most symptoms should have settled but you may still feel tired
- 6-12 months – all symptoms should have settled
Being Referred for More Support
After you have undergone an initial assessment with your GP, you, your family and your GP may decide that you need additional measures as well as self-management to help to manage your long COVID symptoms.
Referral criteria based on national guidance have been agreed in Devon. Those individuals needing assessment by the ‘Post (Long) COVID Service’ will be asked to complete a questionnaire prior to their assessment (Post (Long) COVID Pre-assessment questionnaire).
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- Recovery and Long Covid
- Oximetry at Home
- Coronavirus - Information Videos
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- People at Higher Risk from Cornoavirus
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- Coronavirus - Free NHS Test
- What to do if you cannot work
- Coronavirus - Research