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Symptoms of COVID-19

Last updated: 25 September 2020 at 12.15pm

If you have any common symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus), you should self-isolate and phone your GP straight away to get a COVID-19 test.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show. They can be similar to symptoms of cold and flu.

Getting an early diagnosis from your GP means you can get the help you need and take steps to avoid spreading the virus, if you have it.

There are different levels of restrictions in place in some counties. Visit gov.ie for more information about levels of restrictions across Ireland.

Compare symptoms of COVID-19, flu and cold

Symptoms

COVID-19

Symptoms range from mild to severe

Flu

Abrupt onset of symptoms

Cold

Gradual onset of symptoms

Fever or chills

Common

Common

Rare

Cough

Common (usually dry)

Common (usually dry)

Mild

Shortness of breath

Common

No

No

Lost or changed sense of smell or taste

Common

Rare

Rare

Fatigue

Common

Common

Sometimes

Aches and pains

Common

Common

Common

Sore throat

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

Headaches

Sometimes

Common

Rare

Runny or stuffy nose

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

Feeling sick or vomiting

Rare

Sometimes

No

Diarrhoea

Rare

Sometimes in children

No

Sneezing

No

No

Common

Signs and symptoms of hay fever can also be similar to symptoms of COVID-19. But hay fever does not cause a high temperature. Hay fever symptoms also get worse when you are exposed to certain triggers, such as pollen, weeds or grass. Read more about hay fever.

If you are in doubt about any symptoms you have, phone your GP. They will discuss your symptoms with you and advise you on any steps you may need to take.

When a fever could be a sign of meningitis

Fever is also a symptom of meningitis.

Contact your GP immediately if you have a fever and:

  • severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light

Related topics

How COVID-19 is spread

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

How to clean your hands

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