Most people who get COVID-19, the disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, will have only mild illness. But what exactly does that mean?
Mild COVID-19 cases still can make you feel lousy. But you should be able to rest at home and recover fully without a trip to the hospital. Here’s what to expect and how to take care of yourself.
Coronavirus Recovery Rates
Scientists and researchers are constantly tracking infections and recoveries. But they have data only on confirmed cases, so they can’t count people who don’t get COVID-19 tests. Experts also don’t have information about the outcome of every infection.
On average about 98.2% of known COVID-19 patients in the U.S. survive, but each individual’s chance of dying from the virus will vary depending on their age, whether they have an underlying health condition and whether they are vaccinated. While people who are vaccinated can still get infected, these “breakthrough” cases are rare, and vaccines dramatically reduce severe illness and death.
How You Might Feel While Recovering
Not everyone who catches COVID-19 will notice symptoms. If you do get them, they may show up 2 to 14 days after your infection. And those symptoms can vary from one person to the next.
One of the most common signs is a fever, which for most adults is 100.4 F or higher. It means your body is trying to fight off an invader.
About 50% of people who become ill have a dry cough. That’s the kind that doesn’t bring up any mucus or phlegm. But about a third have a cough with mucus.
You also might feel very tired. Less commonly, your throat may be sore and your head might ache. Your muscles and joints could hurt, and you might get chills, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Some people who had COVID-19 said they had trouble taking deep breaths and felt like they had a tight band wrapped around their chest. Others have likened the illness to a bad cold. Still, others said it was the sickest they’d ever felt.