We're two and a half years into the pandemic. And with more sub-variants hitting Australia, and the reinfection rate picking up rapidly, our focus has once again shifted to the disease, and the chronic aftermath shrouded in mystery: long COVID.
For some time, long COVID has been portrayed by health officials and the media simply as a 'long flu', but as we start to learn more about the disease and this debilitating condition, we're beginning to see that it's not as rare as we once thought.
Watch: The signs to use when talking about COVID. Post continues below.
Studies estimate that between 10 and 20 per cent of Australians infected with COVID-19 will go on to suffer from long COVID - an often life-altering condition that persists for prolonged periods of time following a COVID diagnosis.
In fact, researchers are now saying that the public have not been fully informed about the long-term effects of COVID, with existing sufferers calling for more awareness around the condition.
Here, we look at exactly what you need to know about long COVID - straight from the experts.
1. What is long COVID?
While there is currently no universal definition of what long COVID is, it's basically used as a blanket term to describe people still struggling with symptoms after their initial contraction of COVID-19. And the severity of long COVID ranges.
As GP Dr Imaan Joshi tells Mamamia, "Most people with mild COVID symptoms usually recover in one to two weeks. But in severe cases, recovery can take six weeks or more, and for some, there may be lasting symptoms with or without damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs and brain."
"This is called 'long COVID', or 'post COVID-19 condition'."