COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the flu. Symptoms are typically mild to moderate, but there have been cases of severe illness and death due to the virus. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Runny nose or congestion
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
New loss of taste or smell
Nausea or vomiting
What if I have Symptoms?
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) is currently recommending anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should get tested. To find out if your symptoms are suggestive of COVID-19, use the NC DHHS "Check My Symptoms" tool. For more information on testing locations, visit our Testing page. You should also speak with your medical provider about your symptoms or call the Orange County Health Department COVID-19 line: (919) 245-6111 and ask to speak with a public health nurse.
Caring for COVID-19 patients
In general, caring for someone at home includes four components: monitor for emergency signs, prevent the spread of germs, treat symptoms, and carefully consider when to end home isolation.
However, older adults and people of any age with certain serious underlying medical conditions like lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness and should seek medical care as soon as symptoms start.