NICE ‘long COVID’ guideline


This Guidelines summary covers identifying, assessing, and managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, often described as ‘long COVID’. It makes recommendations for primary care about care for adults, children, and young people who have new or ongoing symptoms 4 weeks or more after the start of acute COVID-19. It has been developed jointly by NICE, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

To develop the recommendations, the following clinical definitions for the initial illness and long COVID were used at different times:

  • acute COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for up to 4 weeks
  • ongoing symptomatic COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from 4–12 weeks
  • post-COVID-19 syndrome: signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.

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