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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with COVID-19 may have these symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When To Seek Emergency Medical Attention

If someone is showing any of these signs, seek medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.


COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch.

Factors that lower or increase risk of transmission include:

  • Length of time you were with the infected person
  • If the infected person was coughing, singing, shouting, or breathing heavily
  • If the infected person had symptoms at the time of the exposure
  • If you or the infected person was wearing a mask during the exposure
  • How well the space was ventilated, and the air filtered
  • How close you were to the infected person


The best thing Illinoisians can do to protect themselves from COVID-19 is to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, transmission of infectious respiratory diseases from one person to another can be greatly reduced by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water - it is one of the most effective ways to reduce spread of illness. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective if soap and water are not available
  • Minimize close contact with sick people
  • Stay home when you are ill
  • When you are ill, allow a few feet of distance from others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissue but not your hand
  • When you are ill, you may also wear a surgical-type mask when around others