So far we know that COVID-19 may not initially cause any symptoms.
Doctors are learning new things about this virus every day. You may carry the virus for 2 days or up to 2 weeks before you notice symptoms.
Some common symptoms that have been specifically linked to the 2019 coronavirus include:
• feeling short of breath
• having a cough that gets more severe over time
• a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature
The full list of symptoms is still being investigated.
COVID-19 versus the flu
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of the influenza (flu) virus.
The flu virus is much more common and much more deadly than the 2019 coronavirus.
At least 6.8 percent of people who developed the flu during the 2019–2020 flu season in the United States have died (as of February 2020), compared to around 2 percent of those diagnosed with the 2019 coronavirus.
Here are some common symptoms of a flu infection:
• runny or stuffy nose
• sore throat
• body aches
When to seek help
If you experience any of the symptoms above and have traveled to China in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days, call your doctor right away.
Who’s at increased risk?
You’re at a high risk for developing this virus if you come into contact with someone who’s carrying it, especially if you’ve been exposed to their saliva or been near them when they’ve coughed or sneezed.
Washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces can help decrease your risk for catching this or other viruses.
Older men seem to be especially susceptible to the virus. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the median age of people testing positive for this coronavirus was around 45 years, and that over two-thirds of those people were male.