Is that cough or sore throat a symptom of a cold or coronavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever: 88%
  • Dry cough: 68%
  • Fatigue: 38%
  • Coughing up sputum, or thick phlegm, from the lungs: 33%
  • Shortness of breath: 19%
  • Bone or joint pain: 15%
  • Sore throat: 14%
  • Headache: 14%
  • Chills: 11%
  • Nausea or vomiting: 5%
  • Stuffy nose: 5%
  • Diarrhea: 4%
  • Coughing up blood: 1%
  • Swollen eyes: 1%

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a lower respiratory tract infection, which means that most of the symptoms are felt in the chest and lungs. That’s different from colds that bring on an upper respiratory tract infection, where you get a runny nose and sinus congestion. Those symptoms seem to be mostly absent for people with COVID-19, though they’re not unheard of.

When to seek emergency medical attention for COVID-19

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all the possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

symptoms of coronavirus | American Pregnancy Association

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