COVID-19 symptoms and treatment

What are COVID-19 symptoms and complications? 

Symptoms can range from quite mild to severe illness. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are characteristic symptoms of infection. Symptoms have shown up as soon as two days to as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. In more severe cases, pneumonia develops, which may make it difficult to breathe.  In some cases, individuals may have the disease and be unaware.  This can add risk for others who they interact with who may have chronic health conditions, etc.

Are some people more susceptible to getting COVID-19?

We do not know enough about the virus to determine this. However, older people with chronic medical problems may be more susceptible to severe disease and death based on preliminary reports.

What is the treatment for the virus? 

A vaccine isn’t available yet and may not be available for quite some time. Most people have recovered by treating the illness like influenza, including taking pain and fever medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If symptoms worsen, medical care might be needed. 

Do ibuprofen – or other anti-inflammatory medications – make COVID-19 symptoms worse?

There is not enough evidence at this time to definitively say nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen) make COVID-19 symptoms worse. You can continue taking anti-inflammatory medications or acetaminophen to control a fever.  

Should I stop taking a daily anti-inflammatory medication (like ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen) for my chronic condition just in case I get COVID-19?

Please talk to a doctor before making any changes to your daily medications.

Isn't there a clinical trial?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the launch of a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an antiviral to help treat people hospitalized with a COVID-19 infection. This is the first clinical trial in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for this disease. Remdesivir is an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral treatment. It was previously tested in humans with Ebola and has shown promise in animal models for treating MERS and SARS, which are caused by other coronaviruses. Learn more our involvement in this clinical trial.