COVID-19 symptoms and treatment

What are COVID-19 symptoms and complications? 

Common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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. If you or a loved one are having any the following symptoms, please seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on the skin tone

Are some people more susceptible to getting COVID-19?

Yes. From the data so far, these factors affect the risk of getting and the severity of a COVID-19 infection:

  • Age. Older adults are more likely to develop serious COVID-19 complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the United States have been in adults 65 years or older
  • SexStudies show that men are at higher risk for a severe COVID-19 illness or death than women. In New York City, men were hospitalized more often than women. In Italy, 82% of ICU cases were men
  • Race. In the United States, people of Hispanic, African American and Asian descent are experiencing more cases and deaths. For reasons other than genetics, COVID-19 is affecting minority communities unequally.
  • Health conditions. People with obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other health conditions are at higher risk

Are there treatments for the virus?

Many people recover by treating the illness like influenza, including taking pain and fever medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If symptoms worsen, seek medical care.