Not all viruses are created equal – as is the case with coronaviruses (which have many different types that fall under the same family name). 

For the most part members of this family of viruses are fairly mild in nature, causing symptoms like the common cold, whereas other types lead to more severe symptoms. 

Examples of dangerous coronavirus strains over recent times include SARS-CoV (China 2003), MERS-CoV (Saudi Arabia 2012) and most recently,  SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 (China 2019). 

Here is what is known so far in terms of symptoms associated with COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization.

It’s important to note that these symptoms range from mild to severe, and usually appear within the first two weeks after contracting the virus:

  • Fever 

  • Cough 

  • Shortness of breath 

  • Tiredness

  • A small percentage of people (less than five per cent) can present with a runny nose and other flu-like symptoms


Some people infected with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, meaning that they do not show any symptoms at all.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend seeking immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion or inability to arouse

  • Bluish lips or face




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