Home > About > News & Media > Viruses > COVID-19

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have shown different symptoms, from the mild to the severe. Symptoms often appear from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with underlying conditions or weak immune systems are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Possible symptoms include:

    • 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

When should I test for COVID-19?

If you are experiencing symptoms, please get tested for COVID-19. Tests are available for free at COVIDTests.gov.  If you’ve tested positive, it’s critical to isolate yourself from others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has isolation guidance tips.

How do I prevent COVID-19?

The best preventative measure? Get the updated COVID-19 vaccine.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people age 6 months and older get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. Consider:

    • Most Americans can still get a COVID-19 vaccine for free.
    • If you have health insurance, most plans cover COVID-19 vaccines at no cost.
    • Those without coverage can still get free vaccines and boosters from: local health centers; state, local, tribal, or territorial health departments; and pharmacies participating in the CDC's Bridge Access Program.

Other preventative steps to consider:

    • Staying updated on all vaccinations, including flu shots.
    • Washing hands.
    • Avoiding contact with those who are ill.
    • Wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces.