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COVID-19 Incubation Period – All you need to know

Published on Sept 16, 2020. EST READ TIME: 5 MIN   

Coronavirus belongs to the SARS family of viruses that can cause respiratory illness in humans as well as animals. Also dubbed as the SARS-CoV-2, it first emerged in Wuhan, China and quickly became a pandemic. The infection caused by the novel coronavirus is knownas COVID-19. The impact of the virus varies from person to person - the elderly, those with underlying diseases or compromised immune system and children under ten years are most at risk.

What is the Incubation Period for Coronavirus?

The incubation period is the timespan when a person contracts the virus, and when he/she starts showing symptoms of the same. As per t he Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ( MoHFW), the incubation period ranges from 1 - 12.5 days with an average of 5-6 days. However, it can also be as long as 14 days.

Understanding the difference between the incubation period of this virus family can help determine whether the person is suffering from COVID-19 or another similar disease from the virus group.

Symptoms during the incubation period




Common Cough


Clinical Manifestations

Fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, coughing yellow or green mucous, tastelessness, loss of smell

Cough, difficulty breathing, headache, diarrhoea, fatigue

Cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, sneezing

High temperature, vomiting, sneezing, muscle pain, runny nose

Incubation Period

7-14 days

2-7 days

1 day

1-4 days

Is Headache a Symptom of Coronavirus?

Headache is a potential symptom of COVID-19, but whether it is a common symptom or not is yet to be determined. A World Health Organization (WHO) report found that 13.6% of over 55,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had a headache. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports on people hospitalised with COVID-19- headachesare reported in 9.6 to 21.3% , cases, depending on the age of the individual. It is a common symptom in people under the age of 65.

While the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, fatigue, and dry cough, the less common ones include sore throat, headache, muscle aches, nasal congestion, loss of smell or taste, and chills. The severe symptoms are difficulty in breathing, chest pain, loss of speech or movement. People with severe symptoms have to seek medical attention immediately.

How is Coronavirus Transmitted?

The most common way of transmission is from person-to-person close contact or droplets from affected persons who sneeze or cough without covering their mouths.The worst part about the virus is it is highly contagious and is at its peak when people suffer from its chronic symptoms. On the other hand, many affected people may not show any signs, but are also likely (though low), to affect people who come in close contact.Such people are asymptomatic and while they remain unaffected by the virus, by not taking the necessary precautions, can pass on the virus to those around them.

In addition to close contact, coronavirus can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the nose, mouth or eyes. Though it carries less risk, it is advisable to minimise contact with foreign surfaces.

Protection against Coronavirus

Since prevention is better than cure, try and practice social distancing. WHO suggests the following measures to avoid or counter the effects of this virus:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds

  • Sanitise your hands often while out

  • Practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet distance

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask

  • Seek medical advice in case of persisting symptoms

  • Breathing exercises like pranayam, kapalbhartito strengthen your lungs

  • Practice food safety by washing your utensils and your food items thoroughly

Corona Kavach Policy

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) launched the Corona Kavach Policy as an attempt to protect people from the health care costs associated with Covid-19. IRDAI has made it mandatory for health insurance providers to offer this policy, which covers pre-hospitalisation, hospitalisation, post hospitalisation, home care, and AYUSH treatment costs when an individual tests positive for Covid-19. You can protect yourself and your family from the high health care costs associated with the disease by taking a Corona Kavach health insurance policy .


While these preventive measures are essential to safeguard you and your loved one’s physical health, it is equally important to fortify your financial health with health insurance plans,especially during these trying times.  You can avoid stepping out by opting for online health insurance policy for coronavirus where you receive all the help and guidance for the right health plan. You can also go for COVID-specific health plans that offer specific benefits and coverage for the disease and its treatment.

Stay safe. S‑tay healthy!

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.


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