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What to Do If You Think You Have COVID-19

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What to Do If You Think You Have COVID-19


If you think you have COVID-19 or you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, it is important that you get tested. You can make appointment for a COVID-19 test near you and be sure to get vaccinated.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19

  • 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. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

What To Do if You Have Symptoms

Individuals with mild symptoms of COVID-19 are able to recover at home. It is important to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus to others.

  • Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.
  • If you live with other people, practice home isolation, which means you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. As much as possible, limit contact with pets and animals in the home.
  • Continue to monitor your health.
  • If you go to the doctor’s office, it’s best to go alone to your appointment. Do not bring children or other family members unless you need assistance.

When to Seek Emergency Care

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. If possible, call ahead to the emergency department to let them know.

Emergency warning signs include

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • New confusion or inability to rouse
  • High fever