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 of COVID-19 include:
- a fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius or above)
- a new cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
- shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
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
Compare symptoms of COVID-19, flu and cold
Symptoms of COVID-19 are usually mild to severe. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly, while cold symptoms develop gradually.
|Symptoms Fever or chills||COVID-19 Common||Flu Common||Cold Rare|
|Symptoms Cough||COVID-19 Common (usually dry)||Flu Common (usually dry)||Cold Mild|
|Symptoms Shortness of breath||COVID-19 Common||Flu No||Cold No|
|Symptoms Lost or changed sense of smell or taste||COVID-19 Common||Flu Rare||Cold Rare|
|Symptoms Fatigue||COVID-19 Common||Flu Common||Cold Sometimes|
|Symptoms Aches and pains||COVID-19 Common||Flu Common||Cold Common|
|Symptoms Sore throat||COVID-19 Sometimes||Flu Sometimes||Cold Common|
|Symptoms Headaches||COVID-19 Sometimes||Flu Common||Cold Rare|
|Symptoms Runny or Stuffy Nose||COVID-19 Sometimes||Flu Sometimes||Cold Common|
|Symptoms Feeling sick or vomiting||COVID-19 Rare||Flu Sometimes||Cold No|
|Symptoms Diarrhoea||COVID-19 Rare||Flu Sometimes in children||Cold No|
|Symptoms Sneezing||COVID-19 No||Flu No||Cold 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