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What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Your Health / Conditions / COVID-19 / What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Published on Jul 15, 2022
Authored by Pfizer Medical Team

Let’s talk COVID-19

Certain people are at increased risk of becoming very unwell with COVID-19. 
How do you know if you, or someone you know, is at risk of severe illness? What do you need to do?

Test and Treat

Two steps to take if you have COVID-19 symptoms: 

Step 1: Test 

Get tested at the first sign of symptoms, even if they are mild.


If you test positive, you may be eligible for an oral COVID-19 treatment to help fight the infection and to prevent severe illness. For those who are eligible, these treatments must be started as soon as possible and within 5 days of noticing your symptoms.1

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

Most people will develop mild to moderate symptoms. These include:2

COVID19 Symptoms

It's important to know that any person with COVID-19 may become very unwell. If you are concerned at any time, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Step 2: Treat 

Did you test positive for COVID-19, and are you at increased risk of developing severe infection?
Make sure to act fast and talk to your doctor about appropriate oral COVID-19 treatment options. 
Don’t forget to report your positive results (as per the public health guidelines in your state). Click here to access the guidelines for your state.

Who classifies as being at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19? 3

You asked, we answered: 

Is it COVID-19 or the flu or something else? 

  • You may have a scratchy throat, runny nose or cough. COVID-19 and the flu can have similar symptoms so it is important to confirm early if you have COVID-19. This will enable you to start treatment with a COVID-19 medication immediately, if you are eligible
  • Find more information about the flu, coronavirus, or COVID-19 here.
  • Remember to always contact your doctor for specific medical advice.

What is long COVID-19?

  • Most people who get COVID-19 will recover within a week or so after infection.4 However, some people will continue to have symptoms for many weeks to months afterwards.4
  • If your symptoms continue for 4 weeks or more after your positive test result, make sure to talk to your doctor.
  • Find out more about long COVID-19 symptoms here

How can I help protect myself and my loved ones from COVID-19?

  • Keep up to date with vaccinations.5,6 
  • Maintain the recommended 1.5 metre physical distance from other people. 
  • Wear a mask when you cannot physically distance from others. 
  • Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitiser regularly. 
  • Contact your doctor for more information.
  • For more information on how to stay COVID-19 safe, click here 

Take home message: 

Act fast! Get tested once you notice any cold or flu like symptoms. If you test positive for COVID-19, ask your doctor as soon as possible if an oral COVID-19 treatment is right for you.

If someone you care for is at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19, advise them to talk to their doctor to see if they are eligible for an oral COVID-19 treatment.  Follow us for more updates on our social channels: 


  1. COVID-19 Treatments and Medications https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/treatments-for-severe-illness.html. Accessed 21 Jun 2022
  2. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1. Accessed 20 Jun 2022.
  3. Updated Eligibility for oral COVID-19 treatments. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/treatments/eligibility?utm_source=health.gov.au&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=digital_transformation&utm_content=oral-treatments. Accessed 11/07/22
  4. Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects/. Accessed 20 Jun 2022.
  5. How to Protect Yourself & Others. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html. Accessed 20 Jun 2022.
  6. Protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Australian Government. https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/protect-yourself-and-others. Accessed 20 Jun 2022.

PP-PAX-AUS-0163, Expiry: 22/06/2024

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