Covid-19: What are the symptoms and when do they develop?

Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and the Prince of Wales all said they had experienced “mild symptoms” after testing positive for coronavirus.

But what are the symptoms of Covid-19 and can they get worse over time?

– What symptoms do most people experience?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most people infected with Covid-19 will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment.

Common symptoms of the respiratory disease include a fever – which NHS England says is usually a temperature of 38C or above – tiredness and a dry cough.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

– Could there be other symptoms?

The WHO says other symptoms can include shortness of breath, aches and pains, and a sore throat.

Some people have also reported a loss of taste and/or smell, as well as abdominal pains.

– When do symptoms begin to show and can they get worse?

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said that it takes about five days from getting Covid-19 for symptoms to show, and then up to a week to recover.

Those who get more seriously ill tend to do so after about five or six days of having the illness, he added.

There’s lots of scary misinformation out there — keep yourself and your loved ones safe by getting your information from a trusted source. Visit to learn about symptoms of #coronavirus, what you should do if you have them, and how to prevent the spread.

— NHS England and NHS Improvement (@NHSEngland) March 27, 2020

– Can I get Covid-19 and not experience any symptoms?

According to the WHO, some people become infected but do not develop any symptoms and do not feel unwell.

– Who is most at risk?

Those with an underlying medical condition and people over the age of 60 have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

The WHO says that around one out of every six people who gets Covid-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

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