How Sick Do People Usually Get
Most people who get sick have a mild illness which rarely involves needing to go to hospital. They recover after about two weeks.
But just over 20% of people sick with COVID-19 will need to be hospitalised for severe difficulties with breathing.
Of the 20% who need to be hospitalised, 6% become critically ill with either respiratory failure , septic shock, and/or multiple organ failure. These people are likely to require admission to an intensive care unit.
It appears to take about one week to become severely ill after getting symptoms.
When Do The First Covid
Not everyone who gets COVID-19 has symptomsin fact, the World Health Organization says 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic. Yet those who do may develop fever and chills, a cough, muscle or body aches, fatigue, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or a loss of taste or smell. Other people with COVID-19 have reported headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Yes, thats a pretty large window. But a recent study by US immunologists, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, narrowed it down. They analyzed more than 180 COVID-19 cases and found that, on average, it takes just over five days for COVID-19 symptoms to hit.
The research team also found that 97% of people who get the virus will develop symptoms within 11 days from the time they are first infected. Any of these symptoms can strike at any time during the course of the illness, from day one to the last days.
If Youre Sick Or Caring For Someone Whos Sick
If youre infected with COVID-19, even if not ill, follow the advice of your local public health authority for isolating at home. Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own.
Adults and children with mild COVID-19 symptoms can stay at home while recovering. You dont need to go to the hospital.
If youre caring for someone at home who has or may have COVID-19, you should follow the appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of illness.
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The only way to confirm you have COVID-19 is through a laboratory test.
Follow the testing directions provided by your local public health authority if you have:
- been exposed to a person with COVID-19
People who are partially or fully vaccinated may still be asked to get a COVID-19 test.
If youve been tested and are waiting for the results, follow instructions:
- on how to quarantine or isolate and
- from your local public health authority
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How Do The Long
Some of the symptom clusters reported by people still suffering months after their COVID-19 infection overlap with symptoms described by individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome . People with a diagnosis of ME/CFS have wide-ranging and debilitating effects including fatigue, PEM, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive difficulties, postural orthostatic tachycardia, and joint and muscle pain. Unfortunately, many people with ME/CFS do not return to pre-disease levels of activity. The cause of ME/CFS is unknown but many people report its onset after an infectious-like illness. Rest, conserving energy, and pacing activities are important to feeling better but dont cure the disease. Although the long-term symptoms of COVID-19 may share features with it, ME/CFS is defined by symptom-based criteria and there are no tests that confirm an ME/CFS diagnosis.
How You Might Feel While Recovering
Not everyone who catches SARS-CoV-2 will notice symptoms. If you do get them, they may show up 2 to 14 days after your infection. And those symptoms can vary from one person to the next.
One of the most common signs is a fever, which for most adults is 100.4 F or higher. It means your body is trying to fight off an invader.
Some people who had COVID-19 said they had trouble taking deep breaths and felt like they had a tight band wrapped around their chest. Others have likened the illness to a bad cold. Still others said it was the sickest theyve ever felt.
Loss of smell and taste have been reported in many cases. Some patients have skin rashes and darkened toes, called COVID toes.
You might feel short of breath, as if youd just run to grab a ringing phone. If so, call your doctor to ask about what you should do.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Coronavirus
But people do get better in fact, more than 1 million people around the globe are considered recovered from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
But how long does it take to reach that point? And what are some signs that youre healthy again? Heres what we know:
What Are The Potential Side Effects
Side effects are possible after receiving any COVID vaccine currently being administered in the U.S.
Experiencing side effects isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s a sign your body is responding and the vaccine is working.
According to Pfizer, about 3.8% of their clinical trial participants experienced fatigue as a side effect and 2% got a headache.
Moderna says 9.7% of their participants felt fatigued and 4.5% got a headache.
The CDC reports the most common side effects for the vaccines is at the injection site. They include:
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When Do You Stop Being Contagious
Generally a person is officially in the clear and can be around others if they meet these criteria:
- 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- 24 hours have passed with no fever
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are also improving or are gone
Being completely cleared wouldnt happen any sooner than 14 days, though, since the virus incubation period is two weeks. That is why you are required to quarantine for a full two weeks in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Duration Of Severe Coronavirus Infections
For about one in five patients with coronavirus, the disease will progress and become worse. Symptoms in patients can get worse within days or even within hours. Severe symptoms can include a severe cough and shortness of breath combined with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The virus can potentially enter the lungs and kill cells. To fight the virus, the immune system may start the process of inflammation, which can then result in severe forms of pneumonia.
In about 14% of cases of COVID-19, symptoms become so severe that patients require supplemental oxygen. About six percent of cases become critical, which can lead to septic shock that can contribute to heart or respiratory failure, stroke, other organ failure, or death.
People with severe cases of coronavirus may need to self-isolate for 20 days after symptoms first appeared. However, itâs not uncommon for recovery to take six or more weeks for severe cases.
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How To Take Care Of Yourself If You Have Covid
Contact your regular primary care provider immediately. Let them know that you have been diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19 and are at home to rest and recover. They may have further instructions or be able to answer additional questions you may have as they guide your recovery.
Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, like water or herbal tea, things that dont contain caffeine or alcohol. Choose foods like soups with lots of liquid. Over-the-counter medications can help to manage your symptoms follow your health care providers instructions, or ask them for advice about medications you may take for your symptoms.
Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider immediately. If you develop emergency warning signs, get medical attention immediately the same as you would for any emergency condition.For medical emergencies, call 911. Notify the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19.
Anxiety Depression And Stress Post
The outbreak of COVID-19 is stressful for many people. People respond to stress in different ways and it is normal to experience a range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, and grief. Being isolated from others during the infection, the real risk of death, and the stress of hospitalization and critical care can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, given the contagious nature of COVID-19, the individual is often not the only affected person in the family or circle of friends, some of whom may even have died. Some people may develop a mood or anxiety disorder. For information on post-COVID stress and coping, see the National Institute of Mental Healths resources at National Institute of Mental Health’s Director, Dr. Gordon In the News and NIMH Shareable Resources on Coping with COVID-19.
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Even If You Don’t Feel Symptoms You May Be Contagious
Even if you don’t feel symptoms within this timeframe, you could still be carrying the virus, so stay away from friends, family, and other household members if you think you may have been exposed. If you don’t feel symptoms in five to 14 days after exposure, consider getting tested for COVID-19. You may be asymptomatic but still carrying the virus and fully capable of passing it on to other people.
If you suspect you were around someone with coronavirus or you know you put yourself in a dangerous situation for infection, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep an eye on how you feel to see if you develop symptoms. Quarantine for at least 14 days and get a test if you suspect you’ve been exposed to the virus. You can protect the ones you love and those at risk for severe illness by following these responsible steps after potential exposure.
What If I Have Only Mild Symptoms
Most people who get Covid-19 will develop only the main symptoms – a cough or fever. But they could experience body aches, fatigue, sore throat and headache.
The cough is initially dry, but some people will eventually start coughing up mucus containing dead lung cells killed by the virus.
These symptoms are treated with bed rest, plenty of fluids and pain relief such as paracetamol.
People with mild symptoms should make a good and speedy recovery.
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Covid Toes Can Develop At Any Age
Doctors around the world have noticed that some patients who test positive for the coronavirus develop discolored and swollen toes.
Heres what dermatologists are seeing.
While COVID toes can appear at any age, children, teenagers, and young adults seem most likely to develop this condition. These young patients are healthy. Many never develop other, more common symptoms of COVID-19, such as a dry cough, fever, and muscle aches. When they do have symptoms of COVID-19, the symptoms tend to be mild.
What you may see with COVID toes:
The swelling and discoloration can begin on one or several toes or fingers, according to Amy Paller, MD, FAAD, who is a board-certified pediatric dermatologist and Chair of Dermatology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. At first, you might see a bright red color that gradually turns to purple. COVID toes can also begin with a purplish color.
Symptoms: Many people dont feel anything and only realize that they have COVID toes when they see the discoloration and swelling on their feet .
Along with the swelling and discoloration, COVID toes can also cause blisters, itch, or pain. Some people develop painful raised bumps or areas of rough skin.
Sometimes, people who have COVID toes have other symptoms of COVID-19.
Treatment for COVID toes: To reduce pain or itching, apply a hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. If this fails to bring relief or symptoms worsen, contact a board-certified dermatologist.
If Youve Tested Positive
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you must isolate at home and away from others, even if you dont have any symptoms.
If you develop symptoms during your isolation period:
- continue isolating and
- follow directions provided by your local public health authority or health care provider
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Will A Mask Protect Me From Catching Covid
After the SARS outbreak, PHAC asked a panel of medical experts for guidance on how flu is transmitted and how best to protect against infection, including the efficiency of face masks.
The report found that masks can offer protection, but there’s no evidence inexpensive masks can protect against flu virus particles small enough to be inhaled into the lower respiratory tract or the lungs. It did find that the N95 masks are the most likely to be efficient, because they filter particles smaller than one micron and provide a tight facial seal.
Early on in the COVID-19 outbreak, Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said thatwearing a mask when you’re well is not an effective measure for keeping yourself safe from infection.
But the science and advice has changed.
On April 6, Tam told reporters that wearing a non-medical mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19, in large part by protecting those around you. But she stressed the importance of doing so in tandem with other physical distancing measures and handwashing.
“A non-medical mask can reduce the chance of your respiratory droplets coming into contact with others or landing on surfaces,” Tam said. “The science is not certain, but we need to do everything that we can, and it seems a sensible thing to do.”
WATCH | Tam explains how wearing a non-medical mask can help reduce transmission:
How To Prevent Spreading Covid
Stay home, except to get needed medical care. Stay home from work and school, and avoid other public places including the store. If you must go out, avoid public transportation or ridesharing/taxis. Stay far away from other people. Wear a mask at all times and wash or sanitize your hands often.
If you have a medical appointment, call your health care provider ahead of time and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. Follow their instructions.
Stay away from others in your home. As much as possible, stay in a specific room, away from other people in your home. Be sure to keep the door closed. Use a separate bathroom, if you can. Clean all surfaces that you touch and others may also touch. If you are the only adult in your household, be sure clean surfaces that are touched often.
Wear a mask. If you need to be around other people inside or outside, wear a face mask. If you are not able to , then people should not be in the same room with you.
Cover your cough and sneezes. Use a tissue or your elbow. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash or sanitize your hands.
Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Its especially important to clean your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food. For visibly dirty hands, soap and water are best.
Dont handle pets or other animals while sick.
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Tips For Caring For Someone With Covid
If your loved one with confirmed COVID-19 is being sent home to rest and recover, here are ways to help them while also protecting yourself and others living in your household. More information about caring for patients at home is available from the CDC.
- Monitor your own health closely. Call your health care provider right away if you develop any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Many cases of COVID-19 are spread to people living in the same household.
Coronavirus Rash Appears In Many Ways
Many diseases, such as measles and chickenpox, cause a distinctive rash that helps doctors diagnose a patient. COVID-19 is different. There is no single COVID-19 rash.
What you may see: You can have COVID-19 and never develop a rash. When a patient with COVID-19 does develop a rash, it can look like any of the following:
Blisters that look like chickenpox
Round, pinpoint spots on the skin
Large patch with several smaller ones
A lace-like pattern on the skin
Flat spots and raised bumps that join together
Symptoms: Some rashes itch.
Treatment: Some rashes require medical treatment.
Keep in mind that you can have a rash thats due to a condition other than COVID-19. If you develop a rash, contact your doctor.
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How Long Does It Take For Covid Symptoms To Appear
With all the worries about coronavirus bring wildly contagious, you may be wondering, how long does it take for COVID symptoms to appear? There are a million risk factors out there for contracting coronavirus, and wondering how long does it take for COVID symptoms to appear is of great concern. Did you recently attend a party that had 18 people instead of the recommended 10? Hang out at a bar with a “face masks are optional” policy? Go to happy hour with a friend who just tested positive for COVID-19? If you think you may have put yourself in a situation that could have exposed you to the virus, it’s important to take it seriously.