The majority of people who experience a COVID-19 infection have a short illness, though full recovery can take several weeks. Symptoms can affect adults and children and may fluctuate in severity and change in nature over time. Most people who experience COVID-19 will need time to recover from the illness. It is important that people are kind to themselves and allow their body to recover at a natural pace.
Studies suggest that nearly 1 in 7 people (13.7%) may have a more extended recovery journey and will report symptoms beyond 12 weeks. This is sometimes referred to as Long Covid Syndrome. However, our experience has been that there is no single pattern of symptoms, and so we use Post Covid Recovery and we focus on each individual's needs and preferences.
Individuals recovering from COVID-19 may experience breathlessness, be much more tired than usual or struggle to be the busy person they were prior to this illness. The slow pace and unpredictability of recovery can be very frustrating.
Our expert colleagues have produced top tips to aid recovery- visit our Recovering from Illness page to find resources on recovery advice.
For some people, recovery from COVID-19 has been very challenging and they continue to feel the effects of the illness for months following infection. It can be difficult to understand why some people seem to recover quickly, while others are affected with a greater variety, impact and duration of symptoms.
We are very aware of the distress caused by continuing symptoms and the unpredictable nature of the recovery process. People experiencing this recovery journey are reporting that their symptoms can change rapidly, and just as one symptom resolves, another one creates an issue.
As the needs of adults and children and young people differ, we have created information for each group on how they may help themselves to recover, as well as details on the services offered by the Health Board, and how to access help and support.
Choose a patient group below to access more information.
As many people experience extended Post-Covid symptoms, you may be a relative, friend or care-worker who is concerned and wants to support individuals to recover and get back to their usual life.
Below are some considerations for when you are with someone with Post-Covid symptoms:
WHO/Europe | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak - In the wake of the pandemic: preparing for Long COVID (2021)
Support for Rehabilitation: Self-Management after COVID-19 Related Illness (who.int)
WHO/Europe | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak - New policy brief calls on decision-makers to support patients as 1 in 10 report symptoms of “long COVID”
Your COVID Recovery | Supporting your recovery after COVID-19
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is regularly organising events that enable us to listen to people who live in our communities and are experiencing prolonged symptoms of COVID-19. Our last event was on 15th December 2021 and over 20 people attended.
Our service approach has been guided by people experiencing continuing symptoms after having COVID-19, and we are incredibly grateful to the group for sharing their experiences with us.
We have an email address for our Post-Covid Recovery Service, where you can:
Please send an email with your contact details to: ABB.CovidRecoveryExperience@wales.nhs.uk. We will aim to respond within 10 days to your enquiry.
Please note that we will not be able to respond to questions about individuals symptoms and care.