How long after the exposure to Coronavirus do symptoms appear?

How long after the exposure to Coronavirus do symptoms appear?

Last Reviewed : 12/17/2020
How long after the exposure to Coronavirus do symptoms appear?

Coronavirus is one of the most infective viruses that became rampant impacting global health. Exposure to Coronavirus can occur by direct contact, coughing or sneezing or touching surfaces where Coronavirus settled down. The time between exposure to Coronavirus and the development of symptoms is called as incubation period. The incubation period is variable from individual to individual. It may be anywhere from 2-14 days. Based on research studies, median incubation period of Coronavirus is estimated to be at 5.1 days. 97.5% of the patients who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days. These estimates imply that almost all patients develop symptoms within 14 days. Only 101 patients out of every 10,000 cases may develop symptoms beyond 14 days. Therefore developing symptoms 14 days after exposure is a rare phenomenon.

Most of the affected persons develop symptoms by 5-7 days after exposure to Coronavirus. The likelihood of being infected and developing symptoms after 7 days is smaller. Very few persons develop symptoms in the second week after exposure and extremely rare beyond two weeks.



  • Ann Intern Med. 2020. Lauer SA, Grantz KH, Bi Q, et al. The Incubation Period of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) From Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases: Estimation and Application. [Epub ahead of print 10 March 2020]. doi:
  • J Clin Med. 2020 Feb 17;9(2). pii: E538. doi: 10.3390/jcm9020538. Linton NM, et al. Incubation Period and Other Epidemiological Characteristics of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infections with Right Truncation: A Statistical Analysis of Publicly Available Case Data.

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