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Recovering from COVID

What to do if you have COVID-19

COVID symptoms and recovery times can vary from person to person. Some people may not even realise they have COVID-19, while others need to be treated in hospital.

Generally, most people with mild symptoms will recover in a few days — particularly if they’re fully vaccinated.

What you need to know

The COVID-19 infectious period can vary but most people are considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their symptoms start. Those with mild symptoms are usually considered to be recovered after 7 days, providing their symptoms have stopped.

Symptoms in children and babies are typically milder than those in adults. Some infected kids may not even show any signs of being unwell.

While less common, some people can develop longer-term health problems caused by COVID-19 which continue for 2 to 8 weeks after infection.

You can return a weak positive COVID-19 test result after you’ve recovered, caused by non-infectious fragments of the virus in your body. Further tests can confirm that you’re no longer infectious.

You can start exercising again if you’ve had at least 7 days with no symptoms. Begin with 15 minutes of light activity like walking and see how you feel. If you have chest pain or palpitations for more than 10 minutes, contact a doctor immediately.


Got other COVID questions? Get COVID clarity

Use the COVID-19 Symptom Checker to find out if you need to seek medical help.

Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 at any time if you need advice.

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