COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Up to half the people who get COVID-19 have no symptoms at all. Of those that get symptoms, most have a mild to moderate illness and recover without needing to see a doctor. A small number of people need to go to the hospital.
On average it takes 5 – 6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.
Below are the most common symptoms of COVID-19.
Most common symptoms:
- dry cough
- loss of taste or smell
- aches and pains
- sore throat
Less common symptoms:
- a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- chest pain or pressure
- loss of speech or movement
It is important to realise that we have very few cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong at the moment. Of course, if the disease gets into our community this probability will change, but at the moment, if you have the symptoms above they are more likely to be caused by something else so don’t panic.
If you have symptoms which concern you, you should be tested. It is most likely that the test will be negative but testing is good for individuals and for the community. You can be tested by your family doctor or at government centres. Information on the government testing program can be found here. Please note there are different methods and locations depending on whether testing is routine screening or if you have symptoms. We have written a further article on what to do if you think you have COVID-19 here.