The deadly virus is highly infectious due to its incubation period as well as how easily it is transmitted.
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How long does it take for coronavirus symptoms to appear after being infected?[/caption]
Boris Johnson previously warned that cases of the virus could double every “five to six days” as its spreads across the country quicker than feared.
Here is what you need to know about how long you are contagious for and how long it stays in your system.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The most common symptoms to be displayed if infected are a fever, shortness of breath and a dry cough.
However, other symptoms can include tiredness, muscle pain and headaches, as well as losing your sense of smell or taste.
The UK government is currently advising anyone who has a new, prolonged cough or a fever to stay away from other people as it is likely to be coronavirus.
How long do symptoms take to appear?
Current studies suggest that symptoms can take anywhere between two and 14 days on average to appear after catching the virus.
A new study, conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US, revealed an average incubation period of 5.1 days – compared to the common cold which is just three days.
This means you could be infectious for almost a week before you display signs of a fever or a new cough.
Some rare cases of the virus have been found to have an incubation period of 24 days.
The research was authorised by the Chinese government, with experts calling it “worrying” especially for people who are currently quarantined themselves.
However, Prof Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia (UEA) said: “One of the issues with particularly long incubation periods is that it is often very difficult to exclude the possibility that the person had not had a second unrelated contact.”
He added that the extended period was still “concerning” and highlighted the need to re-evaluate the current research and advice offered during the pandemic.
Incubation of the virus is between two and 14 days, although you could be infectious for two weeks afterwards[/caption]
How long am I contagious?
People who display symptoms are thought to be contagious for seven days from the first signs, which is why the government advise self-isolation to avoid infecting other people.
However, people who no longer have symptoms of coronavirus could still be contagious for up to two weeks.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned last week: “People infected with Covid-19 can still infect others after they stop feeling sick, so these measures should continue for at least two weeks after symptoms disappear.”
He added: “Visitors should not be allowed until the end of this period.”
How long should I self-isolate?
The UK government is advising people to self-isolate for at least seven days from the day they display symptoms such as a fever or new cough.
If you are living with someone who has coronavirus, then you should self-isolate for 14 days.
The CDC advise only coming out of self-isolation after three days without a fever and when other symptoms have improved, along with the seven-day period.
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MORE ON CORONAVIRUS
People who are deemed high risk are being told to stay in lockdown for 12 weeks.
This includes people who are over 70, people who are pregnant, or people who have previous medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, respiratory diseases or a weak immune systems.
It is thought to apply to around 20 million people.