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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker

Overview

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus. Symptoms may include a fever, a cough, and shortness of breath. It can spread through droplets from coughing and sneezing, breathing, and singing. The virus also can spread when people are in close contact with someone who is infected.

Most people have mild symptoms and can take care of themselves at home with medicine to reduce symptoms. Talk to your doctor right away if you get COVID-19. They might have you take medicine to help prevent serious illness. If your symptoms get worse, you may need care in a hospital. Treatment may include medicines, plus breathing support such as oxygen therapy or a ventilator.

It's important to not spread the virus to others. If you have COVID-19, wear a high-quality mask anytime you are around other people. Isolate yourself. Improve airflow. Leave your home only if you need to get medical care or testing.

Check Your Symptoms

Are you concerned about COVID-19?
Yes
Confirm COVID-19 concern
No
Deny COVID-19 concern
How old are you?
Less than 12 years
Less than 12 years
12 years or older
12 years or older
Are you male or female?
Male
Male
Female
Female

The medical assessment of symptoms is based on the body parts you have.

  • If you are transgender or nonbinary, choose the sex that matches the body parts (such as ovaries, testes, prostate, breasts, penis, or vagina) you now have in the area where you are having symptoms.
  • If your symptoms aren’t related to those organs, you can choose the gender you identify with.
  • If you have some organs of both sexes, you may need to go through this triage tool twice (once as "male" and once as "female"). This will make sure that the tool asks the right questions for you.
Yes
Confirm life-threatening symptoms
No
Deny life-threatening symptoms
Do you have serious symptoms, or are you worried that a child or teen has a serious inflammatory condition called MIS-C?
Yes
Confirm serious symptoms or MIS-C symptoms
No
Deny serious symptoms or MIS-C symptoms
Do any of these apply to you?
None of these.
Deny care resident and health care worker and public health notification
You live or work in a residential facility, such as a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or a correctional or detention facility.
Confirm residential facility
You have worked or volunteered in a health care setting in the last 2 weeks.
Confirm health care worker
You have been notified by your local public heath department about a possible exposure or test result.
Confirm notified by public health
Do you have any high risk health problems?
Certain health conditions and treatments may increase your risk for severe illness if you get COVID-19.
Yes
Confirm high risk health problems
No
Deny high risk health problems
Yes
Confirm symptoms of COVID-19
No
Deny symptoms of COVID-19
Is one of your symptoms mild trouble breathing?
Mild trouble breathing means you feel a little out of breath but can still talk or it's becoming hard to breathe with activity.
Yes
Confirm mild trouble breathing.
No
Deny mild trouble breathing.
In the past 2 weeks, have you been exposed to COVID-19?
You have had close contact with someone who has symptoms or a positive test for COVID-19.
Yes
Confirm exposure COVID-19
No
Deny exposure COVID-19

Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:

  • Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker.
  • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner.
  • Medicines you take. Certain medicines, such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), medicines that suppress the immune system like steroids or chemotherapy, herbal remedies, or supplements can cause symptoms or make them worse.
  • Recent health events, such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious.
  • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel.

Try Home Treatment

You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.

  • Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect). You may need care sooner.

COVID-19 causes a mild illness in many people who have it. But certain things may increase your risk for more serious illness. These include:

  • Age.
    • Older adults are at highest risk. The risk increases with age.
    • Babies born premature or who are less than 1 year old may also be at high risk.
  • Asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other chronic lung disease.
  • Tuberculosis (TB).
  • Vaping or smoking or having a history of smoking.
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or high blood pressure.
  • HIV.
  • A weakened immune system or taking medicines, such as steroids, that suppress the immune system. This also includes medicines taken because of an organ transplant.
  • Cancer or getting treatment for cancer.
  • Conditions that involve the nerves and brain. Examples include stroke, dementia, and cerebral palsy.
  • Being overweight (obesity).
  • Diabetes.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Substance use disorders.
  • Sickle cell disease.
  • Pregnancy or a recent pregnancy.
  • Genetic, metabolic, or neurologic problems in children. This includes children who may have many health problems that affect many body systems. These problems may limit how well the child can do routine activities of daily life.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Mood disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia.

Some people have a higher risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID-19 because of where they live or work. The risk can also be higher if people don't have access to health care. This includes people from certain racial and ethnic minority groups, as well as people with disabilities.

This is not a complete list. If you have a chronic health problem, ask your doctor if you should take extra precautions. The more of these things you have, the higher your risk for serious illness. Talk with your doctor about ways to manage your risk.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Mild trouble breathing.
  • Chills or repeated shaking with chills.
  • Muscle and body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Sore throat.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stuffy or runny nose.

Children and teens may also have a stomachache or belly pain and may not feel like eating.

Your risk of exposure to COVID-19 is based partly on who you have been in close contact with.

Close contact with people who have COVID-19 means:

  • You have been within 6 feet (2 meters) of them for a combined total of 15 minutes, and they were infected at that time.
    • Infected people can spread COVID-19 at least 48 hours (or 2 days) before they have any symptoms or have a test done that ends up being positive for COVID-19.
    • They can spread the virus for at least 10 days after they first have symptoms or have a test done.
  • You have taken care of someone who has COVID-19.
  • An infected person coughed or sneezed directly on you.

Note: Even if you're up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, there's still a chance you can get and spread COVID-19. Talk to your doctor as soon as you can if you've had close contact with someone who has symptoms or a positive test for COVID-19. You will need a COVID-19 test. Wear a mask around other people for a full 10 days. Avoid travel and stay away from people at high risk for serious illness. Watch for symptoms.

Serious symptoms may include:

  • Moderate trouble breathing. (You can't speak full sentences.)
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Signs of low blood pressure. These include feeling lightheaded; being too weak to stand; and having cold, pale, clammy skin.

Symptoms of MIS-C (multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children) may affect children and teens younger than 21 years old.

MIS-C symptoms can occur in a child or teen who in the past few months either had COVID-19 or was in close contact with someone who had COVID-19.

You may not have known that your child or teen had COVID-19.

MIS-C symptoms may include:

  • A fever for more than 24 hours along with any new or worse:
    • Belly pain.
    • Vomiting.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Rash.
    • Red eyes.
    • Dizziness.

Emergency symptoms may include:

  • Severe trouble breathing. You can't talk at all. Young children may have flared nostrils and their belly moves in and out with every breath.
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin or lips.
  • Severe and constant pain or pressure in the chest.
  • Severe and constant dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Acting confused (new or worsening).
  • Passing out (losing consciousness) or being very hard to wake up.
  • Slurred speech (new or worsening).
  • New seizures or seizures that won't stop.
  • Sunken eyes, refusing fluids, or not urinating much. (These are signs of dehydration.)

Seek Care Today

Based on your answers, you may need care, testing, or treatment right away.

Call your doctor or a local health clinic today to see if you need care, testing, or treatment. If you are told to go to a care center or pharmacy, wear a mask.

If you have COVID-19, there are things you can do to reduce your symptoms and feel better while you recover at home.

  • Rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) if you need to relieve a fever and body aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Steps to take to avoid spreading the virus:

  • Stay home and separate yourself from others, including those you live with. Limit contact with people in your home. If possible, stay in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom. For at least 10 full days, anytime you're around other people, you and they should wear a high-quality mask. Children younger than 2 years old don't need to wear a mask.
  • Self-isolate until it's safe to be around others again. (IMPORTANT: Day 0 is the day your symptoms started or the day you tested positive. Day 1 is the day AFTER your symptoms first started or your test was positive.)
    • If you tested positive but had no symptoms, it's safe to end isolation at the end of Day 5. But if you start to have symptoms, follow the recommendations below and count your first day of symptoms as Day 0.
    • If you have symptoms, when you can end isolation depends on how sick you were and your overall health. No matter what, you need to wait until your symptoms are getting better and you haven't had a fever for 24 hours while not taking medicines to lower the fever. Here's how long to isolate, based on your symptoms:
      • If you were only a little sick: (This means you might have felt really bad but had no shortness of breath and never needed to be in the hospital.) You can end isolation at the end of Day 5.
      • If you were more sick: (You had some shortness of breath or some trouble breathing but never needed to be in the hospital.) You can end isolation at the end of Day 10.
      • If you were very sick and needed to be in the hospital, or if you have a weakened immune system: You can end isolation at the end of Day 10 or later. Talk to your doctor to find out when it's safe to end isolation. You may need a viral test.
      • After you end isolation, if your symptoms come back or get worse: Restart your isolation at Day 0. Do this even if it happens after you took medicine for COVID.
  • Avoid travel and stay away from people at high risk for serious disease for at least 10 days.

Contact occupational health or risk management at your facility

Based on your answers, you need to contact occupational health or risk management.

You may need information on how to self-isolate, take care of yourself, and monitor your symptoms.

Follow instructions

Based on your answers, you need to follow all instructions in the public health notification.

You may need information on how to self-isolate, take care of yourself, and monitor your symptoms.

Stay healthy

Based on your answers, you do not need to stay separate from others or get tested at this time unless required by your doctor, employer, travel authorities, or local health authorities.

  • If you develop a fever, cough, trouble breathing, or other symptoms, answer the symptom checker questions again or call your doctor or a local health clinic. You may need care or testing.

To protect yourself and others:

  • Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after you cough or sneeze. Use soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Avoid crowds, especially indoors.
  • Improve airflow. If you have to spend time indoors with others, open windows and doors. Or you can use a fan to blow air away from people and out a window. Choose outdoor visits and activities when possible.

Your risk for getting or spreading COVID-19 depends on the level of community risk, such as the number of positive cases and/or hospitalizations in the area where you live. If you live in an area where COVID-19 is spreading quickly, wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public areas. You may also want to wear a mask if you:

  • Have a high-risk health problem or are at risk for getting very sick if you get COVID-19.
  • Live with someone who has a weakened immune system or is at risk for getting very sick if they got COVID-19.
  • Live with someone who is not fully vaccinated.

Some people are at a higher risk for getting very sick or dying from COVID-19 because of where they live or work. People who don't have access to health care are also at a higher risk. This also includes people from racial and ethnic minority groups, as well as people with disabilities.

If you live in group housing, such as a community shelter, be sure to follow instructions from the group housing staff. They can tell you how to stay safer in the shelter and how to keep others safe.

Be sure to follow all instructions from the CDC and your local health authorities.

Take precautions and monitor your symptoms

Based on your answers:

Take precautions and monitor your symptoms

If you have COVID-19, there are things you can do to reduce your symptoms and feel better while you recover at home.

  • Rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) if you need to relieve a fever and body aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Steps to take to avoid spreading the virus:

  • Stay home and separate yourself from others, including those you live with. Limit contact with people in your home. If possible, stay in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom. For at least 10 full days, anytime you're around other people, you and they should wear a high-quality mask. Children younger than 2 years old don't need to wear a mask.
  • Self-isolate until it's safe to be around others again. (Important: Day 0 is the day your symptoms started or the day you tested positive. Day 1 is the day after your symptoms first started or your test was positive.)
    • If you tested positive but had no symptoms, it's safe to end isolation at the end of Day 5. But if you start to have symptoms, follow the recommendations below and count your first day of symptoms as Day 0.
    • If you have symptoms, when you can end isolation depends on how sick you were and your overall health. No matter what, you need to wait until your symptoms are getting better and you haven't had a fever for 24 hours while not taking medicines to lower the fever. Here's how long to isolate, based on your symptoms:
      • If you were only a little sick: (This means you might have felt really bad but had no shortness of breath and never needed to be in the hospital.) You can end isolation at the end of Day 5.
      • If you were more sick: (You had some shortness of breath or some trouble breathing but never needed to be in the hospital.) You can end isolation at the end of Day 10.
      • If you were very sick and needed to be in the hospital, or if you have a weakened immune system: You can end isolation at the end of Day 10 or later. Talk to your doctor to find out when it's safe to end isolation. You may need a viral test.
      • After you end isolation, if your symptoms come back or get worse: Restart your isolation at Day 0. Do this even if it happens after you took medicine for COVID.
  • Avoid travel and stay away from people at high risk for serious disease for at least 10 days.

Seek Care Now

Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

  • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care. Tell them you're worried that you have COVID-19 or that your child may have MIS-C.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth. Children younger than 2 years old do not need to wear a mask.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't have one, seek care in the next hour.
  • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
    • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
    • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

Contact facility staff

Based on your answers, you need to contact your residential caregivers or correctional or detention facility authorities.

You may need information on how to self-isolate, take care of yourself, and monitor your symptoms.

Call 911 Now

Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

Call 911 or other emergency services now. Tell them you are worried about having COVID-19.

Wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth.

Sometimes people don't want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren't serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. Or they might be concerned about the cost. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.

Self-Care

Caring for a child

  • Make sure your child gets extra rest. It can help them feel better.
  • Have your child drink plenty of fluids. This helps replace fluids lost from fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Fluids may also help ease a scratchy throat.
  • If your doctor prescribed medicine for COVID-19, give it to your child exactly as directed.
  • Ask your doctor if you can give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for fever or muscle and body aches. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Use petroleum jelly on your child's sore skin. This can help if the skin around their nose and lips becomes sore from rubbing a lot with tissues. If your child is using oxygen, use a water-based product instead of petroleum jelly.
  • Keep track of symptoms such as fever and shortness of breath. This can help you know if you need to call your doctor. Ask your doctor when it's safe for your child to be around other people.

Caring for yourself

  • Get extra rest. It can help you feel better.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. This helps replace fluids lost from fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • If your doctor prescribed medicine for COVID-19, take it exactly as directed.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. No one younger than 20 should take aspirin. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Use petroleum jelly on sore skin. This can help if the skin around your nose and lips becomes sore from rubbing a lot with tissues. If you use oxygen, use a water-based product instead of petroleum jelly.
  • Keep track of symptoms such as fever and shortness of breath. This can help you know if you need to call your doctor. It can also help you know when it's safe to be around other people.
  • Use a pulse oximeter if your doctor recommends it. This device checks how much oxygen your blood is carrying.

Caring for someone else

Most people who get COVID-19 will recover with time and home care. Here are some things to know if you're caring for someone who's sick.

  • Treat the symptoms.

    Common symptoms include a fever, coughing, and feeling short of breath. Urge the person to get extra rest and drink plenty of fluids to replace fluids lost from fever.

    To reduce a fever, offer acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). It may also help with muscle aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

  • Watch for signs that the illness is getting worse.

    The person may need medical care if they're getting sicker (for example, if it's hard to breathe). But call the doctor's office before you go. They can tell you what to do.

    Call 911 or emergency services if the person has any of these symptoms:

    • Severe trouble breathing or shortness of breath
    • Constant pain or pressure in their chest
    • Confusion, or trouble thinking clearly
    • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin or lips

    Some people are more likely to get very sick and need medical care. Call the doctor as soon as symptoms start or the person tests positive for COVID-19. This is especially important if the person you're caring for is not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, is over 65, smokes, or has a serious health problem like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or an immune system problem. They may need medicine to prevent serious illness.

When to call for help during self-care

Call a doctor if any of the following occur during self-care at home:

  • New or worse trouble breathing.
  • New or worse chest pain.
  • New or worse dizziness or lightheadness.
  • New or worse confusion.
  • New or worse vision changes.
  • New or worse headache.
  • Symptoms occur more often or are more severe.

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Current as of: January 28, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine