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When do I need to seek help?

 

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For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service or call 111 if you cannot go online.

For health emergencies when your life is at risk, call 999 for an ambulance. You should go to hospital if that is the advice you get from the 111 team.

If you have any questions or need help with coronavirus (COVID) vaccinations, testing, NHS COVID Pass and more, call 119.

The problems you might get after COVID are similar to the problems you might get after being unwell with the flu and other viruses.

If you were seriously unwell when you had COVID, it might take a long time for you to get better. Some people have problems during and after the infection that can increase their recovery time, for example they may:

  • Get blood clots in their lungs
  • Have a stroke
  • Have a heart attack

It can take longer to get better if you were in intensive care or needed a machine to support you to breathe.

It is normal to have these problems after you have had COVID:

Most of these problems usually go away in about three months but some problems might last longer than three months.

These problems can be different for each person and different strategies may help depending on whether you were in hospital or not.

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Should I speak to my GP or another health care professional?

The problems you can get after COVID can be worrying and you might need support to manage them. If the problems last for more than four weeks, you might have long COVID.

If you were admitted to hospital with COVID, you should receive a follow up from your hospital team and should be able to contact them if you continue to have symptoms.

If you were not admitted to hospital and think you have long COVID, please contact your GP, who will decided what tests, treatment and support you need and help in managing your symptoms.

If your GP or healthcare professional thinks you have long COVID, they will look at your medical history. They may examine you, asks lots of questions and may set up different tests. Your GP may ask you:

  • About your health before and after COVID
  • About other health conditions you have
  • About medications you take
  • How you manage your daily activities
  • How you feel, including changes in your mood or if your memory has changed

Your GP may ask you to do some tests such as:

  • Blood tests
  • Blood pressure and heart rate
  • Measuring your oxygen levels
  • Chest X-ray

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What other support will I need?

After the tests, your GP will let you know the results and speak to you about any support you need to get better.

For example, your GP might refer you to a post-COVID service, an expert in your specific problem or a rehab service for extra support.

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What is a post-COVID Service?

Post-COVID means ‘after COVID’.

Your medical team or GP will look at your problems and how you are coping after having COVID and decide if you need to go to a post-COVID service.

NHS England has set up post-COVID services to support your physical and mental health while you are getting better from COVID, following time in hospital or if you still have problems after having COVID. You may be supported by:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Physiotherapists – health professionals that support patients to get moving again after an injury or illness for example respiratory physiotherapists to help with breathing problems
  • Occupational therapists – health professionals that support patients to get back the skills they need for daily living
  • Psychologists – health professionals that support patients who have been in stressful situations or are facing changes to their ability to function or live as they did before because of the symptoms of long COVID

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What if COVID has not caused my problems?

In some cases, COVID might not be the cause of your health problems. If your medical team or GP thinks that another health condition has caused your health problems, they may send you for other tests or to see another health professional.

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New problems

If you have new signs of COVID, you can order COVID tests online. Please click here for more information about ordering COVID tests online. Please check the government website about ordering COVID tests.

If you are worried or unsure, you can:

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