Symptomatic and Asymptomatic


Symptoms usually start 4 days after an individual is infected with the virus. But in some people it can take as little as 2 days or up to 14 days.

People with COVID-19 can experience a good range of symptoms, from mild cold-like symptoms to severe illness. Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you'll be infected with the coronavirus if you have:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

People don’t usually get of these symptoms directly. Often, the symptoms change because the illness progresses.

Around 80% of individuals have non-severe symptoms. The remainder have a life-threatening illness requiring hospitalization: 15% get a severe pneumonia requiring oxygen, and therefore the remaining 5% get a severe pneumonia plus other problems requiring medical care treatment.


When a report described how a girl in Wuhan, China, passed the coronavirus to 5 relations without ever becoming sick herself — albeit she tested positive for the virus.

Other cases of asymptomatic coronavirus infection have also been reported:

In a study of cases on the Princess cruise liner, quarantined off the coast of Japan in February 2020, 634 people out of three, 711 onboard tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. About half these were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. Supported statistical modeling and what's known about the time period of the virus, the researchers think truth number of asymptomatic cases is eighteen percent.

In March 2020, a smaller study on a COVID-19 outbreak during a nursing facility in King County, WA, reported 23 residents with a positive coronavirus test. Thirteen of those were asymptomatic at the time of the test, but 10 of them went on to develop symptoms over subsequent week, leaving 3 people out of 23 (13%) who didn't.