COVID-19 history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sabawoon Mirwais, M.B.B.S, M.D.[2] Syed Hassan A. Kazmi BSc, MD [3]


History of patients infected with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can include international travel to where COVID-19 is highly prevalent. The most common symptoms that can appear 2 - 14 days after exposure include fever, cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

The Cochrane Collaboration has reviewed both the History and Symptoms | Physical Examination[1].


  • History of patients infected with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can include international travel to where COVID-19 is highly prevalent.
  • In the wake of recent developments, and the declaration of COVID-19 to be a pandemic, the above-mentioned condition is actively evolving.
  • History should also be focused on the possible exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
  • In case of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, thorough and extensive history regarding the close contacts and recent exposure to other healthy/diseased individuals should be taken. Such measures can help in tracking down potential asymptomatic patients.
  • To read about the clinical prediction rules for the diagnosis of COVID-19, click here.

Common Symptoms

The following symptoms typically develop within 5 or 6 days but can range from 2 - 14 days after exposure.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

Less Common Symptoms

Less common symptoms of COVID-19 include:[10][8][11][12]


  1. Struyf T, Deeks JJ, Dinnes J, Takwoingi Y, Davenport C, Leeflang MM; et al. (2021). "Signs and symptoms to determine if a patient presenting in primary care or hospital outpatient settings has COVID-19". Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2: CD013665. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013665.pub2. PMID 33620086 Check |pmid= value (help).
  2. "Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)".
  3. "COVID-19 Symptoms".
  4. Yang, Yongshi; Peng, Fujun; Wang, Runsheng; Guan, Kai; Jiang, Taijiao; Xu, Guogang; Sun, Jinlyu; Chang, Christopher (2020). "The deadly coronaviruses: The 2003 SARS pandemic and the 2020 novel coronavirus epidemic in China". Journal of Autoimmunity: 102434. doi:10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102434. ISSN 0896-8411.
  5. Wang D, Hu B, Hu C, Zhu F, Liu X, Zhang J, Wang B, Xiang H, Cheng Z, Xiong Y, Zhao Y, Li Y, Wang X, Peng Z (February 2020). "Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China". JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1585. PMID 32031570 Check |pmid= value (help).
  6. Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P.; Meyer, Christian G. (2020). "The COVID‐19 epidemic". Tropical Medicine & International Health. 25 (3): 278–280. doi:10.1111/tmi.13383. ISSN 1360-2276.
  7. Krajewska J, Krajewski W, Zub K, Zatoński T (April 2020). "COVID-19 in otolaryngologist practice: a review of current knowledge". Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. doi:10.1007/s00405-020-05968-y. PMC 7166003 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32306118 Check |pmid= value (help).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Li YC, Bai WZ, Hashikawa T (February 2020). "The neuroinvasive potential of SARS-CoV2 may play a role in the respiratory failure of COVID-19 patients". J. Med. Virol. doi:10.1002/jmv.25728. PMC 7228394 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32104915 Check |pmid= value (help).
  9. Dehghani Firouzabadi, Mohammad; Dehghani Firouzabadi, Fatemeh; Goudarzi, Sogand; Jahandideh, Hesam; Roomiani, Maryam (2020). "Has the chief complaint of patients with COVID-19 disease changed over time?". Medical Hypotheses. 144: 109974. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2020.109974. ISSN 0306-9877.
  10. Haldrup M, Johansen MI, Fjaeldstad AW (2020). "[Anosmia and ageusia as primary symptoms of COVID-19]". Ugeskr Laeger. 182 (18). PMID 32400371 Check |pmid= value (help).
  11. Dockery DM, Rowe SG, Murphy MA, Krzystolik MG (2020). "The Ocular Manifestations and Transmission of COVID-19: Recommendations for Prevention". J Emerg Med. doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2020.04.060. PMC 7205711 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32456959 Check |pmid= value (help).
  12. Heidari F, Karimi E, Firouzifar M, Khamushian P, Ansari R, Mohammadi Ardehali M; et al. (2020). "Anosmia as a prominent symptom of COVID-19 infection". Rhinology. 58 (3): 302–303. doi:10.4193/Rhin20.140. PMID 32319971 Check |pmid= value (help).