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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How long does the COVID-19 infection last?

    How do we know the people who have had COVID-19 are no longer infectious?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 10


    Dr Amandeep Hansra

    GP (General Practitioner)

    The COVID-19 virus affects people differently and therefore their infection period will vary. Some will have a mild cold or flu-like illness that will last a few days. Others, especially those who are older or have an underlying chronic health problem, may develop more serious symptoms and these may lead to them being unwell for some weeks. Some may end up in hospital requiring supportive treatment.

    The period from when someone is exposed to when they develop symptoms is around 5-6 days but can be up to 14 days and as little as 2 days. It is spread through contaminated droplets that are released when coughing or sneezing. It can also be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects. Most people are only infectious while they have symptoms. A very small number of people can be infectious before they have symptoms, but the majority will be only infectious while they have the symptoms. This is why it is important for those with the disease to isolate themselves while they have symptoms.

  • 2


    Dr Matthew Thuy

    GP (General Practitioner)

    I am a GP with an interest in all aspects of general practice. I have significant experience in urgent care, the treatment of urgent, non-life … View Profile

    Most people who get infected with covid have a mild illness and will get better within 2 weeks. They might be infectious beyond this period. The state health department decides on clearance from quarantine. Some individuals unfortunately will have a severe illness requiring hospitalisation or worse. 

    Some patients develop 'Long Covid'. This is under research. These patients have symptoms for weeks or months after their infection. There are various symptoms described such as fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, difficulty concentrating,  anxiety/depression, problems with sense of smell/taste. 

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