How To Know If You Have COVID-19

7 mins read
covid and flu

COVID-19 symptoms are very similar to allergies, colds, and flu. It can be hard to distinguish one from the other. You might think that you only have a cold but you already have COVID-19! This is a guide on how to know if you have COVID-19.

How do I know if I have COVID-19?

People who were infected had COVID-19 symptoms ranging from mild covid symptoms to severe illnesses. COVID-19 symptoms may appear two (2) to fourteen (14) days after being exposed to the virus. Note that anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. 

If you have these COVID-19 symptoms, you might have the virus:

  • Fever or chills
  • Coughs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Sudden loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Not everyone infected will have these COVID-19 symptoms. 

COVID-19 symptoms typically appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. 

People of any age with certain medical conditions are at a higher risk for more severe illness. The risk for serious illness also increases with age. The older you are, the more likely you are to get very sick if you get COVID-19. 

The best answer to the question, “How to know if you have COVID-19?” is to GET TESTED

“But I don’t know any testing locations near me! Where should I go to find a COVID-19 rapid testing near me or a PCR test near me?”

You can go here to find a COVID-19 rapid test or a PCR test near you. You can also try to contact your local health authorities to find more information on COVID-19 testing locations near you. 

It’s best to be sure if you do have COVID-19. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry. Protect yourself and your loved ones. 

What To Do If You Have COVID-19?

You’re showing mild COVID-19 symptoms, you’re feeling all of the things mentioned above, and you feel like you have COVID-19. So, what to do if you have COVID-19? 

People who are showing mild COVID-19 symptoms to severe COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 should follow the steps even if they are fully vaccinated. 

  • Stay home except to get medical care. Avoid all public areas. Do not go to work or school and do not use public transportation. 
  • Separate yourself at home in a specific room away from other people and animals. Use a separate bathroom if possible. Do not share household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Wash your hands right after.
  • Get tested for COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. The best way to know if you have COVID-19 is to GET TESTED
  • Monitor and keep track of your symptoms even if they are mild Covid symptoms. 
  • Clean and disinfect all frequently touched or high touch surfaces daily. High-touch surfaces are places that are touched frequently. These may include counters, tabletops, toilets, phones, and other places. 
  • Tell anyone you had close contact with that you are sick so that these people know to quarantine (stay home), get tested, and stay alert for COVID-19 symptoms. 

When Should I Seek Emergency Medical Attention?

Seek emergency medical attention if the person is showing emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If you or your loved one is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care IMMEDIATELY!

  • Trouble or difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain and/or pressure in the chest
  • New or sudden confusion
  • Having a hard time waking up or staying awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds

What’s the Difference Between COVID-19 & Flu?

covid vs flu

nfluenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than the flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take a long time before the symptoms show and people can be very contagious for longer. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Covid testing may be needed to help confirm if your symptoms are COVID-19 symptoms or Flu symptoms.


Though most people recover from COVID-19 quickly, and a lot of people have mild COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 infected patients may sometimes feel sick for weeks or months at a time. The term post-COVID condition is used when someone continues to have health issues more than 4 weeks after they first became sick with COVID-19. 

Even people who did not have symptoms when they were infected with COVID-19 can have post-COVID conditions. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 can prevent the post-COVID condition. 

Cynthia Harper

I’m Cynthia Harper, along with my two wonderful kids, Gian and Nellie, we’re living our best life here at the Evergreen State of Washington! And together, we are Health Fit Advice! I’ve dedicated myself to giving my kids the best life, and through that dedication, I learned about everything health under the sun!

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