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COVID-19: Vaccine information, testing, treatment, and additional resources
Home > Health Library > Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus.
The virus can cause fever, cough, and trouble breathing. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and make it hard to breathe without help. It can cause death.
This virus spreads person-to-person through droplets from coughing, sneezing, breathing, and singing. It can also spread when you are close to someone who is infected.
The virus is diagnosed with a test that uses a swab of fluid from the nose or throat or sometimes saliva.
Most people who get sick from the virus can recover at home. Your doctor may have you take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for a fever. Your doctor might have you to take medicine to help prevent serious illness. Treatment in the hospital for more serious cases includes support, such as help with breathing.
You can find the latest information from these sources:
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
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:
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:
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:
Note: Even if you're fully vaccinated, there's still a small chance you can get and spread COVID-19. Talk to your doctor if you've had close contact with someone who has symptoms or a positive test for COVID-19. You may need a COVID-19 test. Wear a mask in public areas until you know for sure you do not have COVID-19.
Serious symptoms may include:
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:
Emergency symptoms may include:
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 fully vaccinated OR you have symptoms (even if you are fully vaccinated):
If you are fully vaccinated AND don't have symptoms, you may not need to stay home and separate yourself from others, but you may need testing or care.
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.
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.
Based on your answers, you need to follow all instructions in the public health notification.
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.
To protect yourself and others:
If you're not fully vaccinated, you need to take extra precautions, such as wearing a mask in indoor public areas and in crowded outdoor areas.
If you're fully vaccinated, there's still a small chance you can get and spread COVID-19 and not have any symptoms. If you live in an area where COVID-19 is spreading quickly, wear a mask in indoor public areas. You may also want to wear a mask if you:
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.
Based on your answers:
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.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you need to contact your residential caregivers or correctional or detention facility authorities.
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 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.
If you have COVID-19, there are things you can do to reduce your symptoms and feel better while you recover at home.
Steps to take to avoid spreading the virus
If you develop a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, or if your symptoms become worse, answer the symptom checker questions again or call your doctor. You may need care.
Be sure to follow all instructions from the CDC and your local health authorities. Here are some examples of specific precautions you may need to take.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow this advice:
Why do you need to call first?
You need to let the doctor's office, clinic, or hospital know that you're coming. They may want you to use a special entrance or go to a special area. They'll probably remind you to wear a mask.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
Current as of:
March 26, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Heather Quinn MD - Family MedicineLesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: March 26, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
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