SARS-CoV-2 Incubation Period

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team


SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a new strain of coronavirus that can cause respiratory disease in humans and animals. Like all other types of coronaviruses, the incubation period that is the time taken for an infected person to exhibit symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 also varies from one person to another. Let’s see more about the incubation period and what you can do if you believe that you have been infected.



Incubation Period


As mentioned before, the incubation period is the time between the entry of the virus into the body and initial symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 and 14 days. Based on initial data, around 97 % of infected patients showed symptoms within 11.5 days, and the average incubation period is said to be around 5 days. This is just a rough estimation of the incubation period, and it may change when scientists learn more about this virus.

Most people infected with SARS-CoV-2 show mild symptoms in the beginning, which might worsen gradually over a few days. Fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath are the commonly reported symptoms.


Ways to Protect Yourself


  1. Maintain at least 6 feet distance from others, especially those who are sick.
  2. Avoid going to crowded places where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  3. Do not touch your face, eyes, or nose without washing your hands first.
  4. Avoid sharing personal items, such as cups, dishes, toothbrushes, and razors, with others.
  5. Clean and disinfect surfaces that you often touch, such as doorknobs, switches, keyboards, etc. You can use household cleaners or a diluted bleach solution.
  6. Make sure you wash your hands using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after touching elevator buttons, using the ATM, filling gas or petrol, and handling grocery carts.


If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor or hospital first before leaving the house. Stay at home and away from others until you are sure about the type of illness you have.

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