COVID-19 Coronavirus: Symptoms

Find out what the symptoms are of COVID-19, what to expect and when to act.
Last updated:


Symptoms of COVID-19 - what to expect

A woman blowing her nose into a tissue

Most people will have mild symptoms and can look after themselves at home.

Know the symptoms that may develop so you can monitor yourself and anyone you are caring for, and know when to seek medical help.

Common mild symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of taste and/or smell
  • fatigue
  • dry cough
  • sore/scratchy throat
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle aches
  • vomiting
  • runny nose
  • chills/night sweats
  • diarrhoea

Younger people may develop a rash, swelling or blistering of toes or fingers.

Mild symptoms – rest and recover at home

Stay home and avoid contact with others while you are unwell.

Pain-relieving medication or cold and flu tablets may help reduce symptoms. Drink lots of water, take electrolytes if vomiting and sleep when you feel like it.

Avoid high-impact activities, weights, running and workouts during this time.

Worsening symptoms – call your GP

Call your GP as soon as possible if you or the person you are caring for develops worsening symptoms, such as:

  • mild shortness of breath
  • coughing up mucous regularly
  • severe muscle aches
  • feeling very weak and tired
  • little or no urination.
  • vomiting or diarrhoea
  • a body temperature of 38 degrees or above
  • shakes or shivers
  • inability to care for yourself, shower, dress, prepare food

Severe symptoms – call 000

Call 000 immediately and let the operator know you have COVID-19 if your symptoms become severe and include:

  • severe shortness of breath
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • coughing up blood
  • lips or face turning blue
  • cold, clammy, pale skin
  • severe headache or dizziness
  • fainting or feeling faint
  • inability to get out of bed or care for others
  • confusion
  • difficulty keeping eyes open.

See the HealthyWA website for more COVID-19 symptoms and information for parents about their child’s symptoms and when to seek help.

When to test

Take a rapid antigen test (RAT) or PCR test as soon as possible if you develop COVID-like symptoms. It’s important to get tested early, as that’s when you’re most infectious.

When to stay at home

See the Managing COVID-19 page for information about what to do if you have COVID-19.