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

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Symptoms may change with new COVID-19 variants and can vary depending on vaccination status. Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

To learn more about COVID-19 symptoms, visit the CDC website.


When to Get Tested for COVID-19

  • If you have symptoms, test immediately.
  • If you do not have symptoms but have been exposed to COVID-19, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before taking a test.

Testing can be helpful even when you don’t have symptoms or a recent exposure to COVID-19, such as before an event or visiting someone at higher risk. Additionally, some places may test people without symptoms or a recent exposure to help keep COVID-19 from spreading to others, especially those who are at higher risk for severe illness.

Getting a COVID-19 Test

  • Order free at-home tests at
  • Buy self-tests (at-home tests) online or in pharmacies and retail stores.
  • Visit a community-based testing location, such as a pharmacy or health center near you. 

To learn more about COVID-19 Testing and what to do if your test comes out positive, visit the CDC website.


If you have COVID-19 and are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease. Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective. Contact a healthcare provider right away to determine if you are eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild right now.

Managing COVID-19 Symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home. You can treat symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), to help you feel better.

Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within days of when you first develop symptoms to be effective.

To learn more about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19, visit the CDC website.


In addition to basic health and hygiene practices, like handwashing, CDC recommends some prevention actions, which include:

  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Improving ventilation
  • Getting tested for COVID-19 if needed
  • Following recommendations for what to do if you have been exposed
  • Staying home if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Seeking treatment if you have COVID-19 and are at high risk of getting very sick
  • Avoiding contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19

To learn more about preventing the spread of COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)