Symptoms for COVID-19 can start as early as 2 days and as long as 14 days after you are exposed. COVID-19 symptoms present itself in many ways and some of the infected people do not show any symptoms at all. Experts say these worsening conditions are usually caused by an overreaction of the immune system after symptoms first appear. But you would still expect there to be a few days between the time a person is exposed and infected and the time they begin actively shedding virus. And for more on those without symptoms, check out This Is Why Some People Have Coronavirus Symptoms and Others Don't. Continue Reading Show … Symptoms of COVID-19 usually show up from two to 14 days after exposure to the coronavirus, but some people who are infected do not develop symptoms or feel ill. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a viral infection that causes COVID-19. There’s an incubation period for COVID-19. On the other hand, research suggests that people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are at their most contagious in the 24 to 48 hours before they experience symptoms. If you are likely to become contagious one to two days before developing symptoms, then on average you will become contagious three to four days after being infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. The first symptom of COVID-19 is usually a fever. People with mild symptoms of COVID-19 can quickly become seriously ill. When exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, how long does it take for symptoms to appear? COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. But there's still much confusion about how quickly symptoms develop after exposure to the virus and what you can expect if you do become infected. The fever is often followed a few days later by a dry cough, one in which you do not cough up any phlegm, and shortness of breath. 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