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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. 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 well-fitting mask anytime you are around other people. Isolate yourself while you are sick. 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.

There are many high-risk health problems that can make a COVID-19 illness more serious. And as experts learn more about COVID-19, more health problems or conditions may be added to the list.

High-risk health problems may include:

  • Age.
    • Babies born premature or who are less than 1 year old may be at high risk.
    • The risk also increases with age. Older adults are at highest risk.
  • Asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, and other chronic lung disease.
  • Tuberculosis (TB).
  • Vaping or smoking or having a history of smoking.
  • 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 includes certain medicines needed after organ transplants.
  • Cancer or getting treatment for cancer.
  • Neurologic conditions or diseases that involve the nerves and brain, such as a stroke, dementia, or 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.

The more of these health problems you have, the higher your risk for serious illness from COVID-19.

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 or testing.

Most people have a mild illness and are able to recover without medical care.

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

If you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines OR you have symptoms (even if you are fully vaccinated and boosted):

  • Stay where you live and separate yourself from others, including those you live with. Ask the doctor how long you need to self-isolate.
  • Do not leave unless you need medical care.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask anytime you are around other people. Children younger than 2 years old do not need to wear a mask.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Follow all steps to prevent spread of the illness, such as washing your hands, cleaning surfaces, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for fever and body aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

If you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines and don't have symptoms, OR you tested positive for the COVID virus in the last 90 days and don't have symptoms, follow all of the instructions in the list above. But you may not need to stay home and separate yourself from others. Ask your doctor.

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.

If you develop symptoms or your symptoms become worse, answer the symptom checker questions again or call your doctor or a local health clinic. You may need care.

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:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • 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.
  • Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people to reduce your risk of being in close contact with someone who may have COVID-19. Some people without symptoms may still be able to spread the virus.

If you're not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, you need to take extra precautions, such as wearing a mask in indoor public areas and in crowded outdoor areas.

If you're up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, there's still a chance you can get and spread COVID-19 and not have any symptoms. 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. These may include stay-at-home orders, guidelines for social distancing and masks, and information about access to health care, COVID-19 testing, and other essential services.

Take precautions and monitor your symptoms

Based on your answers:

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 AND you don't have symptoms AND you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines or you tested positive for the COVID virus in the last 90 days and have recovered, you don't need to stay in the place where you live or separate yourself from others.

  • Wear a well-fitting mask for a full 10 days when you are around other people. Avoid travel and stay away from people at risk for serious illness.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 at least 5 days after you were exposed.
  • If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and have recovered, a COVID-19 test may not be needed.
  • If you get symptoms or your test is positive, stay in the place you live and separate yourself from others. Follow the instructions below.

If you have a positive test OR if you have symptoms OR if you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines but were exposed, the instructions below are for you.

Instructions

If you develop symptoms (these could include a fever, a cough, or trouble breathing), or if your symptoms become worse, answer the symptom checker questions again or call your doctor or a local health clinic. You may need care.

  • If you haven't been tested for COVID-19, get tested. You may need to be tested more than once.
  • Stay where you live, and separate yourself from others, including those you live with. (This is called quarantine if you were exposed to COVID-19 but aren't sure if you have it. It's called isolation if you are sick with possible COVID-19 or had a positive test for COVID-19.) Do not leave unless you need medical care. Stay in quarantine or isolation until it's safe to be around other people.
  • 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 have symptoms, you can end isolation at the end of Day 5 if you haven't had a fever for 24 hours while not taking medicines to lower the fever and your symptoms are getting better. You may need to isolate for up to 20 days if you are severely ill or you have a weakened immune system.
    • If you tested positive but have no symptoms, you can end isolation at the end of Day 5. But if you start to have symptoms, follow the recommendations above and use Day 0 as your first day of symptoms.
    • If you've been exposed to the virus but don't have symptoms and are NOT up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, you need to stay in quarantine for at least 5 days after you were exposed. Get tested after Day 5. If the test is positive, you need to stay in isolation for at least 5 days after your positive test.
  • You will need to wear a well-fitting mask for at least 10 days anytime you are around other people. Children younger than 2 years old do not need to wear a mask.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Avoid travel and stay away from people at high risk for serious illness for at least 10 days.
  • Follow all steps to prevent spread of the illness, such as washing your hands, cleaning surfaces, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
  • If you have symptoms, then rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for fever and body aches.

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. These may include stay-at-home orders, guidelines for social distancing and masks, and information about access to health care, COVID-19 testing, and other essential services.

If you have questions about COVID-19 testing, ask your doctor or go to cdc.gov to use the COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool. If you have questions, go to cdc.gov to check the Quarantine and Isolation Calculator.

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.
  • Ask your doctor if your child can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to reduce a fever. It may also help with muscle and body aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • 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. Fluids may also help ease a scratchy throat.
  • You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to reduce a fever. It may also help with muscle and body aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • 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.
  • In some cases, your doctor might suggest that you get a pulse oximeter.

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: May 28, 2022

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