How long is the incubation period for Covid? – The Sun

BRITS are still having to tackle self-isolation as thousands more are catching Covid each day.

The rise in Omicron just before Christmas has seen more than ever before cooped up at home battling the bug.

Incubation – how long before symptoms show?

Symptoms with the original Covid strain were thought to appear between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus.

But, the Omicron variant is thought to move much faster, and have an incubation period of nearer to three to five days.

This is because it is more infectious and why it is spreading much quicker around the country.

It also can present as different symptoms to the main three listed on the NHS of a cough, fever and loss of taste or smell.

They include night sweats, a scratchy throat, headache, muscle pains and fatigue.

But if you have any symptoms that could be Covid, it's best to take a lateral flow and see if you could be infectious.

How long will symptoms last?

Now that so many more Brits are vaccinated and boosted, the symptoms have also changed in people who have been jabbed.

It also means most people will recover within about five days to a week, although the fatigue and a lingering cough might remain for longer.

While you are much more protected from the virus if you have been vaccinated, you can still catch it and pass it on – so it's good to know the new signs.

New research found that two vaccinations provide far less protection against the Omicron variant, so it is likely you could catch it.

Being boosted hauls your antibody levels back up to around 75%, which will be a huge help in preventing catching the disease.

Most commonly, the first symptoms have traditionally been fever (temperature above 37.8 degrees C) and/or cough, which is usually dry to start with.

But going by reports from cases in the UK, South Africa and US, these are common early warning signs of Omicron:

  • Scratchy throat
  • Lower back pain
  • Runny nose/congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sneezing
  • Night sweats
  • Body aches

When do symptoms progress?

In people with more severe infection, shortness of breath is likely to become more marked around seven to ten days after they develop symptoms.

And, on average, patients with worsening breathing problems tend to be entered into an intensive care unit at day ten.

Dyspnoea – shortness of breath – tends to cease after about 13 days for those who survive and continue until point of death for those who didn’t.

According to Chinese researchers, from illness onset, the average time to death is 18.5 days and the average time to discharge was 22 days for those who made it past intensive care.

How long does it take to recover?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it can take anywhere from two to six weeks to recover from Covid-19.

However long Covid is blighting many people struck down with the disease, with some still suffering months after they had the virus.

The rate of recovery will depend on the severity of the disease as well as treatment.

Often younger people who became less sick are the ones that will be hit with long Covid.

Recovering patients can still spread the disease as their body discharges the virus.

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