How many days does it take for virus symptoms to show?


Coronavirus Incubation Period

The incubation period describes the time between contracting the coronavirus and when the first symptoms begin to appear. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the latest information regarding the incubation period for the disease can be anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure. 

One of the most recent reports from a trusted source suggests that more than 97 percent of people confirmed to have the virus began to show symptoms within 11.5 days. Whereas, the average incubation period appears to be around 5 days. However, it’s important to bear in mind that these figures are subject to change as we learn more and more about the virus. 

Scientists and doctors alike have seen COVID-19 symptoms begin often as mild and worsen over the days to come. 

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How many days does it take for the virus to show?

UK medical professionals are estimating the incubation period to be anywhere between five and six days - this has been the most common occurrence in UK cases. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) most people begin to display signs of infection after five days. 

A recent paper published suggests that incubation period could be as long as 24 days. This means that if you are displaying symptoms, it is best to wait until you feel absolutely back to normal before ending your isolation period. 

Is it possible to have the virus and not know it?

The short answer is yes. It would not be unusual for lots of people to have contracted the virus, but instead displayed quite mild, or in some instances no symptoms. So, it is a good possibility here that people have had the coronavirus without realising or knowing. 

However, as we do not have access to enough testing kits, we are unable to exactly match how many people have experienced the virus and gotten over it just as they would with a common cold or flu. 

How long is someone infectious after contracting the disease?

What we do know is that Coronavirus is the most contagious right before or during the first week of displaying symptoms. This means that you could be passing on the disease to further individuals without even knowing it. 

Those who have contracted COVID-19 will emit huge amounts of the virus in the very early stages of the infection, this offers further explanation as to why the virus has spread so quickly around the globe. 

A new study from Germany by scientists trying to map when those infected are able to infect others has shown that patients with only mild infections still test positive weeks after the illness has subsided. It is likely that those only mildly sick are not infectious 10 days after they experience symptoms. But further research is needed and information may change as we learn more.