COVID-19 symptoms present itself in many ways and some of the infected people do not show any symptoms at all. Thet are referred to as asymptomatic patients. COVID-19 can easily spread through droplets of bodily fluids that can enter the body that is why health authorities encourage everyone to follow health protocols.

Long before the Thanksgiving celebrations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already issued guidelines and precautions on how to safely celebrate the holidays. They urge families to stay at home and prevent any close contact with anyone as much as possible.

But what if one of the people who had contact with, during the holidays or in the past few days, have tested positive? Will you dismiss it since you have not felt any symptoms yet or will you immediately go to the hospital?

So how long does it take for COVID-19 symptoms to actually appear? Do you know what these symptoms are?

Four Key Periods to Mind 

According to an article by Bruce Y. Lee in Forbes, there are four key periods that people should be mindful of the developing COVId-19 symptoms.

The first one is the latent period which is the time between getting infected with COVId-19 and first becoming contagious. It is like the period when the virus has already taken a foothold in your system to harm your body and replicate itself inside you.

Next, the incubation period is the time between getting infected and symptoms starting to appear. This is the time when the virus is slowly building up inside the body and the immune system starts to react.

According to studies, the incubation period could last between two to 14 days, which is why the CDC has recommended that those who had exposure to COVId-19positive individuals to quarantine themselves for at least 14 days.

Third, you have become infectious or contagious to other people. It marks the end of the latency period and the start of becoming contagious that can spread the virus to others.

Lastly, the symptomatic period. It is the time from the end of the incubation period until your symptoms are resolved. It is important to note that the latency and incubation period begins at the same time when the virus entered the body. Although the virus should infect first the respiratory tract for you to become infectious.

Read Also: Study Finds That Parents Discount Their Children's COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19

The CDC has released on their website the list of the symptoms of COVID-19 that people should look out for after getting exposed t people who have COVID-19. Since the incubation period is 14 days, those who were infected should expect the following symptoms (unless you are asymptomatic):

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

However, they also noted that the list does not include all possible symptoms of COVID-19 as doctors continue to learn more new symptoms as time progresses. 

They said that when someone starts to show symptoms of trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and bluish lips or face, it is best to immediately go to seek emergency medical attention.

Read More: How to Discern Flu Symptoms from COVID-19

Check out more news and information on COVID-19 in Science Times.