Long COVID: A Post-COVID Condition

Curious about the Long COVID Survey? Jump to How We Are Learning More

Post-COVID Conditions

CDC uses the term Post-COVID Conditions to describe a wide range of health consequences that are present more than 4 weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One type of post-COVID condition is Long COVID, which includes a range of symptoms that people who had COVID-19 might experience weeks to months after infection.

What We Know About Long COVID

As the pandemic continues, we are learning more about the wide range of short- and long- term symptoms that people who had COVID-19 might experience. While most people with COVID-19 do not report ongoing symptoms and return to their normal state of health, some people have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months. Even people who were not hospitalized and who had mild illness from COVID-19 can experience persistent or late symptoms.

While there is still more to learn about Long COVID, at this time the symptoms being reported include:

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as "brain fog")
  • Headache
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Dizziness on standing
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities

An adult has chest pains outside.

To learn more about Long COVID and the other Post-COVID conditions including Multiorgan Effects of COVID-19 and Effects of COVID-19 Treatment or Hospitalization, please visit the CDC Post-COVID Conditions webpage.

The long-term significance of these symptoms is not yet known. DHS, along with the CDC, is working to better understand Long COVID and who it is impacting. We will update information as we learn more.

     How We Are Learning More

    In collaboration with the CDC, DHS will be contacting approximately 30,000 Wisconsinites about participating in a short survey to help us better understand Long COVID. The results of this survey will help the CDC develop a well-informed case definition for Long COVID and help us better meet the needs of people with COVID-19 in the future.

    How is DHS recruiting participants?

    DHS will be contacting a proportion of Wisconsinites who have been tested for COVID-19 about completing the survey. You may receive an email from DHSSelf-Reporting@dhs.wisconsin.gov or a phone call in the next 3 months about the survey.

    The survey will be distributed in two phases. The first phase will be an online survey. The second phase will be a phone survey among people who previously tested positive for COVID-19, and also those who have tested negative. Surveying both people who have tested positive and negative helps us get a better idea of which symptoms are more common across all people and which are specific to those who have had COVID-19. People who participate in the first phase will not be contacted again for the second phase of the project.

    Why is this survey important?

    As with any new virus, there is still much more to learn about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We know that there are individuals who become sick with COVID-19 and continue to experience symptoms for weeks, or even months.

    This survey asks people who have previously tested both positive and negative for SARS-CoV-2 to report their symptoms since infection to help CDC develop a well-informed definition for Long COVID. This survey will also help inform messaging to both health care providers and the general public on the condition of Long COVID. Understanding Long COVID will help us prepare resources for the future.

    How is privacy maintained?

    Your answers to the survey questions will be stored in a secure, password protected electronic database. They will be de-identified from your personal information before being shared with the CDC.

    What if I have questions?

    If you have questions about the Long COVID survey, you can email DHSCOVIDPublicHealthSurvey@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

    Last Revised: April 28, 2021