Symptoms of COVID-19

If you have any common symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus), self-isolate (stay in your room) and get a COVID-19 test. Other people in your household will need to restrict their movements (stay at home).

To get a free COVID-19 test you can:

Common symptoms

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

You may not have all of these symptoms. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show. They can be similar to symptoms of cold and flu.

If you have symptoms, do not attend a vaccination appointment if you have one scheduled. You can call HSELive on 1800 700 700 to request a new appointment date.

Immediate action required: Call 112 or 999 if:

you are very short of breath and cannot complete a sentence

How to manage symptoms of COVID-19 at home

Compare symptoms of COVID-19, flu and cold

Compare symptoms of COVID-19, flu and cold
Symptoms Coronavirus
(Symptoms range from mild to severe)
Flu
(Abrupt onset of symptoms)
Cold
(Gradual onset of symptoms)
Symptoms Fever or chills Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Common Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Common Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Rare
Symptoms Cough Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Common (usually dry) Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Common (usually dry) Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Mild
Symptoms Shortness of breath Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Common Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) No Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) No
Symptoms Lost or changed sense of smell or taste Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Common Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Rare Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Rare
Symptoms Fatigue Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Common Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Common Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Sometimes
Symptoms Aches and pains Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Common Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Common Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Common
Symptoms Sore throat Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Sometimes Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Sometimes Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Common
Symptoms Headaches Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Sometimes Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Common Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Rare
Symptoms Runny or Stuffy Nose Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Sometimes Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Sometimes Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Common
Symptoms Feeling sick or vomiting Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Rare Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Sometimes Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) No
Symptoms Diarrhoea Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) Rare Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) Sometimes in children Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) No
Symptoms Sneezing Coronavirus (Symptoms range from mild to severe) No Flu (Abrupt onset of symptoms) No Cold (Gradual onset of symptoms) Common

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 something else

Some people may get a mild fever for a couple of days after they get the flu vaccine. This is normal.

Fever is also a symptom of meningitis.

Urgent advice: Contact your GP straight away if

you have a fever and other symptoms of meningitis:

  • severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light

Last updated: 17 June 2021 at 3.30pm