06. What are the symptoms?

After making contact, the virus has an incubation period of about 5 days. In these 5 days, the virus rapidly replicates inside the body. Often, by day 5, you may experience either or both of the following most common symptoms:

  • A high fever (over 37.8 degrees). The body feels hot to touch.
  • A new, persistent dry cough lasting more than 6 hours

From day 7 onwards, you may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath/difficulty in breathing
  • Tightness of chest
  • Aching of the body (less often)
  • Low energy levels (less often)
  • Sore throat is uncommon, whereas with influenza, a sore throat is a very common symptom that will develop within 48 hours of contact.

In 80% of cases, the symptoms are mild and settle by day 14, with a full recovery. For the remaining 20% of cases, the symptoms worsen and can develop into pneumonia and prove fatal.

by Dr Sukhdev Singh, Sikh Doctors Association 

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