The REACT Long COVID (REACT-LC) study involves follow-up of over 120,000 people to understand why some people who are infected continue to have symptoms for several weeks or months – a condition called Long COVID – while others don’t. REACT-LC is uniquely placed to include a large and diverse group of people from the wider REACT programme who have had different experiences of COVID-19. REACT-LC aims to identify new approaches to diagnosing, supporting and managing Long COVID.

The team is working closely with people who have Long COVID to understand their varied symptoms and experiences. The researchers are also looking at how people’s biological makeup, their environment and social factors affect their likelihood of experiencing this illness, and the relationship between these. A number of people are also being asked to take part in an interview study to document and analyse their experiences in depth.

The study is being carried out in partnership with Queen Mary University of London, the Francis Crick Institute, Leiden University, Birmingham University and Newcastle University.


Cooper E, Lound A, Atchison CJ, Whitaker M, Eccles C, Cooke GS, et al. (2023) Awareness and perceptions of Long COVID among people in the REACT programme: Early insights from a pilot interview study. PLoS ONE 18(1): e0280943.

Our research has investigated persistent COVID-19 symptoms in over 600,000 REACT-2 participants. Access the peer-reviewed publication in Nature Communications. Publication title: 'Persistent COVID-19 symptoms in a community study of 606,434 people in England'

Information for study participants

Study participants can access more information about the research using the following link: REACT-LC Health and Wellbeing Study Participant Information Sheet

If you gave permission for Imperial College London to link your health data held by NHS Digital and other NHS bodies to your survey data, we will bring data from March 2015 into the REACT cohort. We will continue to link your data into the future. You have the right to withdraw your consent to our processing of your personal data, please see the privacy policy for details.


REACT-LC: The Long Road to Recovery - Imperial College London

REACT-LC: The Long Road to Recovery

Following the first two REACT studies, the UK government, via the expertise of Imperial College London, established REACT-LC to help track and understand why different people experience COVID-19 differently, and what underlying biology is a factor in who suffers from Long COVID.


Defining Long COVID

Over the past year, we have been inviting people to share what ongoing symptoms after COVID-19 feel like in their own words as part of our defining Long COVID Challenge on VOICE-Global.

We have received over 100 responses which capture the depth and breadth of symptoms experienced. One of our aims of this challenge was to use these responses to raise awareness of the symptoms of Long COVID, and their impact, in a way that is accessible, engaging, and impactful. As such, we have been working closely with Monique Jackson to develop illustrations which visually capture the range and impact of Long COVID symptoms (also attached), e.g. what ‘fatigue’, ‘breathlessness’, ‘pain’, ‘tingling/buzzing’, ‘brain fog’ feels like.

While we couldn’t include all the responses we received, we are continuing to look at ways to share these responses further.

Download the Defining Long COVID Poster .

The poster is also available to download in the following languages:

REACT Long COVID Update Report - July 2022

Download the full report: REACT Long COVID Update Report July 2022