It takes five days for COVID-19 symptoms to show, according to a new major scientific study measuring how patients develop symptoms.
Rapid research on COVID-19 – the prevalent strain of coronavirus – conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was based on 181 cases from China and elsewhere.
Six people have now died after being diagnosed with the disease in the UK as the confirmed number of cases has risen to 373.
Current advice for anyone who thinks they could have the disease is to self-isolate for 14 days to avoid spreading the virus to others.
On average those who are ill will show symptoms by day five of the illness, although even if they haven’t developed symptoms by day 12 they could still be spreading the virus.
Professor Justin Lessler, the lead researcher on the study, said: “Based on our analysis of publicly available data, the current recommendation of 14 days for active monitoring or quarantine is reasonable, although with that period some cases would be missed over the long term.”
It is believed that one in every 100 cases will only show symptoms after the fortnight self-isolation period.
Professor Lessler said there was still much more to learn about the virus.
Many people who catch the virus could only show very mild symptoms while others won’t show any symptoms at all but these people could still be spreading it.
According to the NHS, the symptoms of coronavirus are:
• A cough
• A high temperature
• Shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.
If you are concerned you have the symptoms of coronavirus, you should not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.
NHS 111 has an online service that can tell if you need help, or you can call 111 from anywhere in the UK to get help.