Managing COVID-19 at home

What symptoms might I have with COVID-19?

Common symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms. The most commonly reported symptoms include:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of taste and/or smell
  • respiratory symptoms
  • coughing
  • increased phlegm or sputum.

Other symptoms associated with COVID-19 can include:

  • headache
  • sore throat
  • mild shortness of breath
  • muscle or joint pains
  • runny nose
  • chills
  • intermittent nausea/vomiting
  • intermittent diarrhoea.1

Severe symptoms

If you develop any of the following symptoms (or any other symptoms recorded in the severe symptoms section of your My COVID-19 action plan), call (or ask someone else to call) emergency services on 000 immediately. Tell the phone operator that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have severe symptoms, and that you need an ambulance.

The following symptoms could indicate more severe or serious illness, so they should be treated in a hospital:* 

  • worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • blue lips or face
  • pain or pressure in the chest
  • cold and clammy, or pale and mottled, skin
  • fainting or collapse
  • being more confused
  • becoming difficult to wake up
  • little or no urine output – less urine than usual, even though you have been drinking lots of fluid
  • coughing up blood.2
  • your oxygen level is 92%* or less when you test using the pulse oximeter, even if you feel okay (see how to check this in the next section of the guide)
  • respiratory rate of more than 30 beats per minute*
  • heart rate staying at or above 120 beats per minute*

*Your individual age and general health may mean these symptoms are not all relevant or may need to be adapted. If you are managing your COVID-19 with assistance from a GP your GP might also tell you to look out for other severe symptoms that have been added to your My COVID-19 action plan, and will update the action plan.

This event attracts CPD points and can be self recorded

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