Fatigue - Overview

How do I know if it’s Post Viral Fatigue and not just normal tiredness?

Post-Viral Fatigue is when you have an extended period of feeling unwell and fatigued following a viral infection. It is a normal bodily response and is the most common symptom associated with Long Covid. 

The following section will help you understand and manage your fatigue.

Normal Tiredness

  • Activity-induced tiredness
  • Occurs after over-exertion
  • Can occur as a result of poor sleep
  • Usually alleviated by rest and recovery
  • Usually short-lived or temporary
  • Does not usually limit normal day-to-day activities

Post-Viral Fatigue

  • Extreme exhaustion and weakness
  • Disproportionate to previous activity
  • Can occur after minimal effort
  • Unresponsive to rest
  • Prolonged and fluctuating
  • Limits usual activities

How will Post-Viral Fatigue affect me?

Fatigue is unique to each individual; it is often complex and difficult to measure or define. It can range from being mild to severe; have both mental and physical effects; and be very unpredictable and fluctuating.

Physical Symptoms

  • Overwhelming tiredness and exhaustion
  • Weakness with heaviness in limbs
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Reduced stamina and exercise tolerance
  • Joint/muscle pain
  • Nausea/dizziness/headaches
  • Sweats/chills
  • Palpitations/fast heart rate
  • Sore throat/swollen glands
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Post Exertional Malaise (“PEM”)

Psychological Symptoms

  • Low mood and reduced motivation
  • Anxiety
  • Heightened emotions
  • Low sex drive
  • Reduced confidence
  • Feeling useless or hopeless
  • Feeling guilty
  • Reduced tolerance
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal or isolation

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Mental Fatigue (“Brain Fog”)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty thinking or processing new
    information
  • Difficulty with planning and/or problem
    solving
  • Short Term Memory Loss
  • Speech problems – slurring of words
  • Word finding and conversation difficulties

Other Symptoms

  • Disturbed Sleep Pattern
  • Reduced appetite
  • Burning sensation to skin
  • Heightened sensitivity to noise/light/touch
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Reduced function and inability to resume previous roles
  • Inability to return to work

Want to learn more about Post Viral Fatigue and how to manage it?

Visit any of the pages below to view content created by Salford Royal and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Trusts…

Resource Menu

Thank you to the contributors for this section