Full emergency departments all over the world demonstrate that people need to know and want to know how long it takes before COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) makes them sick. Well, the answer is if you've been infected, then you're sick and therefore you're able to transmit the virus to other people. But the real question should be how long does it take for someone to show symptoms? And this is another aspect of this virus that makes COVID-19 so hard to isolate and treat. Up to 85% of infected people will have very mild symptoms like cough and fever and some may have symptoms that are so subtle that they might not even notice. On average, however, an infected person will likely begin to show symptoms within five days. However, there are many reports around the world of patients not showing symptoms until 14 days or more. For this reason, any patient who is suspected to have been exposed to COVID-19 should self isolate and quarantine themselves for at least 14 days. If you begin to feel sick, do not go to the emergency department, but contact your primary care physician first. If you can't contact your primary care doctor, then contact your local public health officials for guidance. By putting yourself at risk in the emergency department, if you're not sick or infected with COVID-19, you may be exposing yourself to those who are. So for that reason, we're recommending that if you feel sick, contact someone before you go to the emergency department and follow that advice.
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