COVID Recovery Time: Will I Get Better and How Long Will It Take?

How Long Does It Take to Recover from COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create many questions, including how long it takes the average patient to recover. COVID recovery time varies from person to person, based on a variety of factors. Data from the National Institutes of Health indicates that COVID recovery times for mild to moderate cases is around two weeks. However, more severe cases can take approximately six weeks to heal fully. For long-covid patients, symptoms will typically last three months or more.

It’s important to realize that these are just estimates, and there is ongoing research being done to determine the full scope of recovery times. The type, severity, and duration of symptoms often fluctuate, which is one of the issues that has made long-term care confusing and complicated.

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are continuing to experience symptoms, it’s critically important to keep working with your doctor and alert them of any new or worsening effects as they emerge.

What Symptoms Will I Experience during COVID Recovery Time?

Symptoms of COVID during recovery time.
(This image is from Pixabay.)

COVID-19 patients may experience a full range of physical and psychological symptoms for days and weeks following their initial diagnosis and contagion period. It’s important to manage these symptoms independently or with your doctor as they emerge. Some of the more common signs of COVID include:

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Loss of Taste
  • Loss of Smell
  • Muscle and Joint Pain
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Fever and Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Chest Pain
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Depression and/or Anxiety
  • Accelerated Heartbeat
  • Dizziness and Disorientation

Prolonged COVID symptoms can also lead to long-term organ damage. Testing data shows lasting damage to the heart muscles, long-term negative impact on the alveoli (air sacs in the lungs), and Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes even paralysis.

How Do I Know I’m Fully Recovered from COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 refrain from being resuming their normal activities until after:

  • Ten days have passed since symptoms had first emerged
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
  • Your other COVID symptoms are improving

Make sure to get tested again to be sure the virus is out of your system. Loss of taste or smell may persist for longer than more acute symptoms like breathing issues, pain, or fever.

What Should I Do during My COVID Recovery Time?

It’s essential to take proper self-care during your COVID recovery time. This means:

  • Staying home for the appropriate duration of your symptoms. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Stay hydrated and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) to address severe pain issues (make sure you talk to your doctor if you have any reservations about taking over-the-counter meds).
  • Get tested after 10-14 days of your positive diagnosis to make sure you’re no longer infected.

Continue to wear masks in public places, get fully vaccinated as soon as possible, and continue taking the appropriate public health precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe and protected as best as possible.

Most patients who contract COVID-19 experience mild to moderate cases and generally recover within ten days to two weeks, but it’s important to take proper self-care, limit the risk of transmission and work with your care team to ensure that the virus has entirely left your system and you are no longer experiencing severe symptoms.

Are you experiencing prolonged COVID recovery time? Stay up-to-date on the latest news about long COVID on Responsum for Long COVID.