The long haul. Post-viral symptoms after COVID-19

The long haul. Post-viral symptoms after COVID-19

How long can you still feel unwell after COVID-19?

The world may have opened back up, with socialising, leisure, and travel firmly back on the agenda. But COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. Thankfully, we are now in a good place when it comes to vaccines, treatment and understanding about the disease.

We have also experienced several mutations of the virus which has seen the severity weaken. Many hundreds of thousands of us have also had the disease, giving us a natural resistance to the infection in the future. But, as testing becomes less mandated, and tests themselves are no longer offered free of charge, there’s a likelihood that we will have less knowledge about whether we have contracted COVID-19.

Additionally, the official list of recognised symptoms has been updated, now including a host of side effects which were not previously thoughts to be linked to the disease. This new information may have lots of us wondering whether we did actually have COVID-19 previously but dismissed it as the symptoms doesn’t fit the criteria of the illness.

We’re also seeing many people struggling with what seems to be a prolonged bout of post-viral illness which lingers and can be debilitating. But many of these cases are unconfirmed as ‘long covid’ as the illness wasn’t diagnosed at the time.

So, how can we know for sure if that bad cold or upset stomach was COVID-19? Are those of us struggling with long-term fatigue and other symptoms actually experiencing ‘long Covid’? Antibody testing could help to unlock some of the answers.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the name given to an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The 19 represents the year the virus was discovered.

The virus spreads from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak or breathe.

For most people infected with the virus, the symptoms are mild to moderate, and they recover without requiring special treatment. However, some become seriously ill and require medical attention. Vulnerable groups, including older people and those with underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes or cancer are more at risk.

Symptoms of COVID-19

The official list of COVID-19 symptoms has recently been updated, which may have you wondering whether a prior illness was, in fact, due to the coronavirus. Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu and include:


  • an aching body
  • blocked or runny nose
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • feeling or being sick
  • headache
  • high temperature or chills
  • loss of appetite
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • new, continuous cough
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat

How long can you still feel unwell after COVID-19?

How long it takes to recover from COVID-19 varies from person to person. Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most make a full recovery within 12 weeks. For some people, the symptoms can last longer.

The chances of having long-term symptoms doesn’t seem to be linked to how unwell you were when you first got COVID-19. People who had mild symptoms at first can still experience long-term problems. These can include:

  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches or loss of appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Joint pain
  • Pins and needles
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Rashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tinnitus or earaches

I never got tested, but I was unwell. Could it have been COVID-19?

Potentially yes. Although there will have been other illnesses in circulation during the pandemic, it is perfectly possible that you contracted COVID-19.

Now that other symptoms are being recognised, you might be curious to know whether you did contrThanyou

act the disease, and perhaps now have some level of immunity going forward.

This is why antibody testing is a good option. Understanding if your body has antibodies to COVID-19 will give you an indication of whether you previously had the disease and may also explain why you may continue to feel unwell.

Private testing for COVID-19 antibodies in London

With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health and wellbeing.

Our COVID-19 antibody check is a quick and convenient test, which provides information about the level of antibodies in your blood, indicating the previous presence of the virus.

Booking your private COVID-19 antibody blood test in London

We make sure the experience of booking a private sexual health blood test is as easy, convenient, and painless as possible. After you have selected the COVID-19 antibody test, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team.

Once your order is placed, you can attend our central London walk-in clinic to have your blood taken by one of our expert phlebotomists. This guarantees that your blood samples are taken and handled correctly and that your results are processed efficiently by clinical professionals.

At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. Your results will then be emailed to you, providing you with all the information you need about your COVID-19 antibody status.  

Curious to find out whether you have COVID-19 antibodies? Find out more about the test

Quick and Reliable

There's a reason that over 30% of Blue Horizon Kit requests are from patients that have used us before.