A fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Symptoms typically appear between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and while the fever may not set in right away, it can feel relentless once it does. Just how long can you expect to feel feverish? There are no clear-cut answers, but "a small study from China found a fever from COVID-19 lasted an average of eight to 11 days," Natasha Bhuyan, MD, a family practitioner and regional medical director of One Medical, told POPSUGAR. "Of course, in some people a fever can be shorter, while in others, it might be longer."
David Cutler, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, explained that a week on average is a pretty safe estimate. "Fever, cough, and shortness of breath — as well as a variety of other symptoms often attributed to viral infections — will [typically] go on for about a week," he said, though some will feel sick longer. "It is believed you are no longer infectious seven days after the onset of symptoms, as long as you have been without fever for at least three days." The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention notes that your temperature should remain normal for 72 hours without the help of a fever reducer, and any other symptoms (like cough or shortness of breath) should also improve before you leave isolation.
Of course, you should consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible after developing symptoms of COVID-19. While most people will recover at home, your doctor can give you detailed instructions for monitoring your symptoms, as well as help you establish a threshold for seeking care.
POPSUGAR aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus, but details and recommendations about this pandemic may have changed since publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, please check out resources from the WHO, CDC, and local public health departments.