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Main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, even if they're mild:

  1. Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.
  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors (self-isolate) until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test. Check if people you live with need to self-isolate.

Urgent advice: Get help from NHS 111 if:

  • you're worried about your symptoms
  • you're not sure what to do

Call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.

Important: Babies and children

Call 111 if you're worried about a baby or child under 5.

If your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call 999.

Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.

Get more advice about COVID-19 in children

Page last reviewed: 2 September 2021
Next review due: 16 September 2021