The symptoms reported by people with COVID-19 range from those with mild symptoms to those who become seriously ill. Symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms could have COVID-19: Fever or chills Cough Difficulty breathing (feeling short of breath) Fatigue Muscle and body aches Headache Recent loss of smell or taste Throat pain Congestion or runny nose Nausea or vomiting Diarrhea This list does not include all possible symptoms.
CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Take care of yourself and others How to protect yourself How to care for someone who is sick? What to do if you are sick What is the difference between influenza and COVID-19? Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory diseases, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and influenza is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than influenza and causes more serious illness in certain people. Also, it may take longer for people to develop symptoms and be contagious for longer. In the following sections, you will find more information about the differences between influenza and COVID-19. Because some of the symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 are similar, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two diseases based on symptoms alone, and a screening test may be necessary to help confirm the diagnosis. Although we learn more every day about COVID-19 and the virus that causes the disease, much is still unknown about it. This page compares COVID-19 to influenza, based on the best information available to date.