Symptoms of coronavirus
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get the result.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
People at higher risk from coronavirus
Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) can make anyone seriously ill. But for some people, the risk is higher.
People most at risk of getting seriously ill are known as clinically extremely vulnerable.
Clinically extremely vulnerable list
You're considered clinically extremely vulnerable if:
- your doctor has classed you as clinically extremely vulnerable because they think you're at high risk of getting seriously ill
- you've been identified as possibly being at high risk through the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment
- you've had an organ transplant
- you're having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
- you're having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
- you're having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
- you have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
- you've had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
- you've been told by a doctor you have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
- you have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
- you're taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
- you have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
- you have a problem with your spleen or your spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
- you're an adult with Down's syndrome
- you're an adult who is having dialysis or has severe (stage 5) long-term kidney disease
Long-term effects of coronavirus (long COVID)
For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long COVID".
About long COVID
How long it takes to recover from coronavirus is different for everybody.
Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.
The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get coronavirus.
People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.
Symptoms of long COVID
There are lots of symptoms you can have after a coronavirus infection.
Common long COVID symptoms include:
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- heart palpitations
- pins and needles
- joint pain
- depression and anxiety
- tinnitus, earaches
- feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste rashes