Living with the Long-Term Effects of Post-COVID-19


​The COVID-19 pandemic is now into its third year, and while we have discovered much about the virus, we’re still learning how it impacts people long after they have recovered from the initial illness.

Sometimes called “long-COVID” by people, Post-COVID-19 is an umbrella term for any symptoms that remain after you are initially infected by the virus. Some people who have COVID-19 experience a range of symptoms that persist for months or even years after the illness, causing a significant negative impact on quality of life. (See . (See Living with Persistent Post–COVID-19 Symptoms on PHSA.)

An estimated 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent of people who had COVID-19 may experience symptoms for longer than three months. Post-COVID-19 is defined as a persistent group of symptoms following COVID-19, typically lasting longer than three months.

The pattern of symptoms related to Post-COVID-19 seem to vary, sometimes becoming less severe, other times worsening. There appear to be factors—such as stress—which can trigger worsening symptoms, causing “flares.”

For example, physical stress from undertaking a long bike ride, or cognitive stress from working under a deadline, or emotional stress from socializing, can all play factors in triggering a Post-COVID-19 symptom.


Getting help for Pos​t-COVID-19

If you think you may have Post-COVID-19, it’s always best to connect with your health care provider, whether that be your family doctor, nurse practitioner or other primary care provider.

You may be referred to the Post-COVID-19 Interdisciplinary Care Network, which is a group of BC clinics supporting people struggling to recover from COVID-19. There are currently four clinics located in BC, offering both in-person and virtual appointments.

If you do not have a family doctor or primary care provider, you can connect with the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day

There may be other resources available to support your recovery from Post-COVID-19, including a Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit from the Government of Canada, Medical Transportatio​n assistance from FNHA Health Benefits, as well as mental health, we​​llness and cultural supports.

For a shareable and/or printable version of this information, download our “Frequently Asked Questions for Living with Post-COVID-19".

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