What You Need to Know

  • Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.
  • Older adults and people with serious underlying conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, appear to be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

Watch for symptoms

Symptoms reported by people with COVID-19 range from those with mild symptoms to those who become seriously ill. Symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills Cough Difficulty breathing (feeling short of breath)
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Headache
  • Recent loss of smell or taste
  • 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.

Difference Between Flu and COVID-19

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2, and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. You cannot tell the difference between flu and COVID-19 by symptoms alone because some of the symptoms are the same. Talk to a healthcare provider about getting tested for both flu and COVID-19 if you have symptoms.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Services

Watch for emergency warning signs * of COVID-19. If anyone exhibits any of these signs, seek emergency medical attention immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent chest pain or pressure
  • Confusion
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or bluish skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

* This list does not include all possible symptoms. Call your healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are serious or concerning you

Call 911 or call your local emergency center first – notify the operator that you need care for someone who has or could have COVID-19

Updated on 22 Dec. 2022 (source espanol.cdc.gov)

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