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Long COVID Now Has a Formal Definition from the WHO: What to Know

On Oct. 6, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the first official definition of what constitutes long COVID.

The medical community has been aware that while most people recover from COVID-19 within a matter of weeks, some will experience lingering symptoms for 4 or more weeksTrusted Source after developing COVID-19.

Until now, there has not been a formal definition for this condition.

Referring to it as “post COVID-19 condition,” the document says that long COVID “occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset of COVID-19, with symptoms that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.”

The definition further states that common symptoms may include fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and several others that can impact daily functioning.

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