What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Older adults and individuals of any age with underlying medical conditions, such as lung disease, seem to be at higher risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19.

These symptoms, or combinations of symptoms, generally appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and may prompt you to suspect you have COVID-19:

Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Congestion, sore throat

Fever or chills

Fatigue, headache or body aches

Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

New loss of taste of smell

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are new, severe, or concerning to you.

If you develop symptoms that you think may be COVID-19, test right away. If you have been exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19, follow the steps here. COVID-19 has similar symptoms to other contagious respiratory illnesses like the flu. Testing is important to confirm which illness you have as well as appropriate treatment.

You can order free at-home tests to have on hand or use this locator to find a no-cost COVID-19 testing site.

Emergency Warning Signs

Seek emergency care if you start having trouble breathing, experience pain or pressure in your chest, develop a bluish tinge to your lips or face or are noticed to have new confusion or inability to wake or stay awake.

Talk to an expert

Our Lung HelpLine is staffed by registered nurses and respiratory therapists ready to help answer your questions about COVID-19. Connect with us by phone, email or live chat.

Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.

Page last updated: February 2, 2024

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