Coronavirus update: The number of days after infection you’ll continue to be contagious

Coronavirus, specifically SARS-CoV-2, results in the COVID-19 disease that has swept around the planet and infected millions of people. Infected individuals are contagious for a certain number of days – how many days?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted symptoms of the disease.

If you’re infected, you may show mild or severe illness two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

According to the NHS, symptoms of COVID-19 include a new, continuous cough, fever and a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell.


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The CDC added that some people may experience chills, fatigue, headache and body aches.

It continued that infected individuals could suffer from a sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.

And people with severe illness may have difficulty breathing and shortness of breath.

Those who have caught the disease are infectious for at least 10 days after displaying symptoms, confirmed the CDC.

Of course, some people are asymptomatic, meaning they have the virus – and can pass it on to others – without showing any signs of the disease.

The CDC added that it’s still possible to remain contagious for at least 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19.

At present this conflicts with the advice handed out by the NHS, who suggest self-isolating for at least seven days after displaying symptoms or testing positive for the disease.

The NHS advises people to come out of self-isolation after seven days if you “feel OK”.

This “OK” feeling covers you if you don’t have any symptoms, aside from a cough or a change to your sense of smell or taste.

It’s because these two symptoms can “last weeks after the infection is gone”.

The NHS tells people to continue self-isolating if you have any of the following symptoms after seven days:

  • A high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
  • A runny nose or sneezing
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite

Only when these symptoms have disappeared is it advisable to come out of self-isolation.


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How to self-isolate properly

The point of self-isolation is to help stop the spread of the contagious disease.

By confining yourself to your home upon testing positive for the virus, displaying symptoms or being instructed by the test and trace system, you’re doing your bit.

Staying at home means ordering in food or medicine, exercising inside and, if possible, working from home.

It’s the Government’s instruction not to leave your home for at least seven days.

Those who may otherwise need to work outside their home can get “an isolation note”.

A isolation note is proof to your employer that you need to be off work. It’s not a doctor’s note and can be accessed here.

While self-isolating you must not have any visitors in your home – except those who provide essential care.

And you’ll need to tell people you’ve been in close contact (during the past 48 hours) that you’ve been infected with the virus.

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