As it stands, there isn’t one single test to determine whether a person has long Covid, and the condition isn’t yet fully understood.
So, for now, healthcare professionals are referring to NICE guidelines when making a diagnosis. These describe long Covid as symptoms that continue for 12 weeks after a Covid-19 infection that can’t be explained by another cause.
Therefore, people suspected of having long Covid will usually be checked for other health conditions – such as thyroid function, diabetes, and iron deficiency – before a diagnosis is given.
Though this might sound like a lengthy process, the good news is that researchers are currently looking for new, quicker ways to diagnose long Covid, so a simple blood test might be available in future.
If you think you might be experiencing long-term Covid-19 symptoms, then it’s important to speak to your GP. Though there’s no specific test for long Covid, your GP will be able to assess your symptoms and the impact they’re having on your quality of life.
Blood tests, chest x-rays, blood pressure, and heart rate checks might be some of the tests that your doctor suggests to find out more about what’s going on.
From here, they’ll talk to you about ways to monitor and manage your symptoms, and you may be referred to a long Covid assessment centre where you’ll be looked after and supported.