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As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, a small proportion of Australians infected have now died, while most have either recovered, or are likely to recover over the next few weeks.
One thing many of us want to know is for how long people who have SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are able to pass it on to someone else.
Let’s look at what the science tells us so far.
How long does it take to get sick?
The “incubation period” is the time between being exposed to the virus and the onset of symptoms.
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For COVID-19, the incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days. But most people who develop COVID-19 symptoms do so 4 to 6 days after exposure.
Read more: Coronavirus: how long does it take to get sick? How infectious is it? Will you always have a fever? COVID-19 basics explained
How long are you infectious?
The “infectious period” means the time you’re able to spread the virus to someone else.
For COVID-19, there is emerging evidence to suggest the infectious period may start 1 to 3 days before you develop symptoms.
The most infectious period is thought to be 1 to 3 days before symptoms start, and in the first 7 days after symptoms begin. But some people may remain infectious for longer.
Commonly reported symptoms for COVID-19 – such as fever, cough and fatigue – usually last around 9 to 10 days but this can be longer.