What is Covid-19 related pulmonary fibrosis?

Early studies suggest that some patients with severe COVID-19 are at risk of pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs). We don’t yet know how many people this affects or the long-term implications.

Symptoms and diagnosis

The symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include cough and breathlessness. If you’ve had severe Covid-19, you will probably have a follow-up chest X-ray and outpatient clinic review after you recover. This will allow your medical team to assess if there is damage to the lungs. Lung damage after Covid-19 may get better slowly, so it may take up to one year to know whether any damage will be permanent.


Researchers are still working to understand COVID-19 related pulmonary fibrosis and how to treat it. You will generally have regular follow-up appointments with your medical team to review your progress and treatment.


Worldwide, there are several studies looking at the long-term outlook for patients who have had COVID-19. It’s not yet clear whether COVID-19 related pulmonary fibrosis gets worse over time.

[fs-toc-omit] Other forms of pulmonary fibrosis

[fs-toc-omit] Get support

Join a support group in your area

It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are now over 75 pulmonary fibrosis support groups around the country.

Support groups meet informally to share experiences, provide expert information and raise funds and awareness. Find a group near you.

Call our support line

APF runs an email and telephone support line offering information and advice about living with PF. Find out more.

Find us on social media

We have an active and supportive online community ready to welcome you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates, news and connections to our online community.

Watch videos of how other people cope day to day with PF.

Information provided by Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis (APF) is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It’s intended as general information only. APF is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for any loss or damage suffered by users resulting from the information published on actionpf.org.

Further information for carers:

Your essential caring guide (PDF)
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