Asked by: Prof. Vernie Abbott Jr.

How long does it take for symptoms of COVID-19 to appear after exposure?

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Common question

How long does it take for COVID-19 symptoms to show up after exposure?

On average, symptoms showed up in the newly infected person about 5 days after contact. Rarely, symptoms appeared as soon as 2 days after exposure. Most people with symptoms had them by day 12. And most of the other ill people were sick by day 14. In rare cases, symptoms can show up after 14 days.
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How long does it take for COVID-19 symptoms to start showing?

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have fever, cough, or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19.

How long after contracting the coronavirus are symptoms present?

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may appear two to 14 days after exposure. This time after exposure and before having symptoms is called the incubation period.

Can an infected person spread COVID-19 before showing symptoms?


An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 2 days before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. People who have COVID-19 don't always have obvious symptoms. A person is still considered a close contact even if they were wearing a mask while they were around someone with COVID-19.

How long after exposure should I wait to get tested for COVID-19 if I am fully vaccinated?

It can take almost a week after exposure to COVID-19 to have a positive test result.

If you are fully vaccinated, you should wait three to five days after exposure before getting a test. Evidence suggests that testing tends to be less accurate within three days of exposure.

ThaJokes articles are based on information we have collected from all over the internet. We rely on reliable sources when gathering data. Despite the constant care and attention we pay in compiling this data, it is possible that the information published is incomplete or incorrect. Is there anything that is incorrect or incomplete in this article? Let us know at thajokes@gmail.com
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Most frequently asked questions

What should I do if I've been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and I have fully recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the previous 90 days?

Someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and has subsequently recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms does not need to quarantine. However, close contacts with prior COVID-19 infection in the previous 90 days should:
• Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure.
• Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate immediately if symptoms develop.
• Consult with a healthcare professional for testing recommendations if new symptoms develop.

What steps should you take after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

How many COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic?

The South Korean estimate of 30 percent is slightly lower than the asymptomatic figure offered by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He said roughly 40 percent of Americans with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

What are some of the common symptoms of the COVID-19 disease?

Symptoms may include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle and body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

What are some of the most common presenting symptoms of COVID-19?


Initial presentation — Among patients with symptomatic COVID-19, cough, myalgias, and headache are the most commonly reported symptoms. Other features, including diarrhea, sore throat, and smell or taste abnormalities, are also well described (table 3).

What are some examples of mild illness of the coronavirus disease?


Mild Illness: Individuals who have any of the various signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, malaise, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste and smell) but who do not have shortness of breath, dyspnea, or abnormal chest imaging.

How long can long COVID-19 symptoms last?


Long COVID is a range of symptoms that can last weeks or months after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 or can appear weeks after infection. Long COVID can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19, even if their illness was mild, or if they had no symptoms.

What are the common side effects of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, nausea and vomiting, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection and fever. Side effects typically started within two days of vaccination and resolved two or three days later.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 that need immediate assistance?

  • 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 skin tone

What percentage of COVID-19 transmissions are from asymptomatic cases?

In the first mathematical model to incorporate data on daily changes in testing capacity, the research team found that only 14% to 20% of COVID-19 individuals showed symptoms of the disease and that more than 50% of community transmission was from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases.

Are all COVID-19 patients symptomatic?

Early research has shown that most people who contract the new coronavirus develop mild cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and, in some instances, individuals infected with the virus don't experience any symptoms of Covid-19.

What is the difference between people who have asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic COVID-19?

Both terms refer to people who do not have symptoms. The difference is that ‘asymptomatic’ refers to people who are infected but never develop any symptoms, while ‘pre-symptomatic’ refers to infected people who have not yet developed symptoms but go on to develop symptoms later.

Am I considered a close contact for COVID-19 if I was wearing a mask?

A person is still considered a close contact even if they were wearing a mask while they were around someone with COVID-19. You can call, text, or email your contacts. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.

How long should I stay in quarantine after coming into contact with a COVID-19 patient?

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.

How is close contact defined in the context of COVID-19?

Close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more within 2 days prior to illness onset, regardless of whether the contact was wearing a mask.

Do I need to quarantine while waiting for my COVID-19 screening test result?

People without symptoms and without known exposure to COVID-19 do not need to quarantine while awaiting screening test results. If a person tests positive on a screening test and is referred for a confirmatory test, they should quarantine until they receive the results of their confirmatory test.

Is there a test for COVID-19?

Yes, the FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for different types of COVID-19 tests. Some tests are used to diagnose the virus that causes COVID-19 infection whereas other tests are used to detect a recent or prior COVID-19 infection.

Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.

Is it normal to have side effects after second COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.

What are some of the side effects of the COVID-19 booster vaccines?

Fever, headache, fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the two-dose or single-dose primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.