FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.

Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention

How is COVID-19 infection treated?

There is no specific treatment available for SARS-CoV-2. Treatment is supportive (e.g. providing oxygen for patients with shortness of breath or managing a fever). Antibiotics do not treat viral infections.

Antibiotics may be required if a secondary bacterial infection develops. Currently there are vaccines available that are being distributed world wide.

Can I go out?

Anyone who is sick or displaying symptoms should not go to school or work.

If you have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, you should self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the date of close contact. If you are concerned, contact your medical practitioner for further advice.

Who is at higher risk of getting the virus?

Those at higher risk of contracting the virus include the elderly and individuals with chronic conditions or a compromised immune system.

Chronic conditions include but may not be limited to high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and lung disease amongst others.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

Test have been conducted however It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

After getting vaccinated, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. In addition, you may have fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

How long does protection from COVID last?

We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick.

Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Do I still need to wear a mask after getting the vaccine?

Yes.

To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations: Wear a mask over your nose and mouth Stay at least 6 feet away from others Avoid crowds Avoid poorly ventilated spaces Wash your hands often It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.

Experts are also looking at how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities. We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Additional information can be found at key things to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.