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Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

FeverFever
CoughCough
Sore throatSore throat
Shortness of breathShortness of breath
Runny noseRunny nose
FatigueFatigue
DiarrhoeaDiarrhoea
Vomiting or nauseaVomiting or nausea
Loss of smellLoss of tasteLoss of smell and/or taste

Other symptoms people may experience include muscle or joint pain, and loss of appetite.

Everyone who gets COVID-19 will experience it a little differently.

People who have extreme symptoms or side effects from the virus may take weeks or months to recover fully, while people with a mild illness may feel completely better within a week or two.

Find out more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how they compare with common cold and flu below. Symptoms can vary depending on each case.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, call your doctor or 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) and get tested.

Call emergency services on 000 if you are very sick.

Read more about on testing for COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19 compared with flu, common cold and allergies

Symptoms

COVID-19

Symptoms range from mild to severe

Cold

Gradual onset of symptoms

Flu

Abrupt onset of symptoms

Allergies*

May be abrupt or gradual onset of symptoms

FeverFever

Common

Rare

Common

No

CoughCough

Common

Common

Common

Common (asthma)

Sore throatSore throat

Sometimes

Common

Common

Sometimes (itchy throat and palate)

Shortness of breathShortness of breath

Sometimes

No

No

Common (asthma)

FatigueFatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

Sometimes

Loss of tasteLoss of smell

Loss of smell and/or taste

Common

Common

Common

Common (hay fever)

Aches and painsAches and pains

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

No

HeadacheHeadaches

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

Sometimes

Runny noseRunny or stuffy nose

Sometimes

Common

Sometimes

Common

DiarrheaDiarrhoea

Rare

No

Sometimes
(Especially for children)

No

SneezeSneezing

No

Common

Sometimes

Common

SneezeVomiting or nausea

Sometimes

Rare

Common in children
Rare in adults

No

Adapted from material produced by Australian Government Department of Health, WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

*Respiratory allergies include allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and allergic asthma. Other common symptoms of hay fever include itchy nose and itchy, watery eyes.

It is very difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of COVID-19, influenza and a cold. If you have any infectious or respiratory symptoms (such as a sore throat, headache, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, cough or runny nose) don’t go to work. You need to self-isolate and to be assessed by a medical professional. You may need testing for COVID-19. You must not return to work until cleared by a medical professional. You need to ensure that the people you care for are protected and safe. People who have respiratory allergy symptoms such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and allergic asthma should stay home and get tested for COVID-19 at the onset of their symptoms and if they experience symptoms that are unexpected, seem different or worse than usual, or do not respond to their usual medication.