Your Covid-19 questions answered

I’m quarantining at home — What symptoms should I watch out for?

Kyle Zeeman Digital Editor
Those who come into contact with anyone suspected to have Covid-19 should self-isolate, whether they have had the vaccine or not. File image.
Those who come into contact with anyone suspected to have Covid-19 should self-isolate, whether they have had the vaccine or not. File image.
Image: Ruvan boshoff

Those who come into contact with anyone suspected to have Covid-19 should self-isolate, whether they have had the vaccine or not, but what symptoms should I watch out for while in isolation?

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said close contact means you had “face-to-face contact within one metre or were in a closed space for more than 15 minutes with a person with Covid-19”.

“This contact happened while the person with Covid-19 was still ‘infectious’, in other words from two days before to 10 days after their symptoms started.”

While social distancing and wearing of masks will go some way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and may lead to you not catching the virus, isolation is required to make sure you are fine and do not spread the virus if you have caught it.

Symptoms to watch out for while in isolation include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches or other flu-like symptoms from two to 10 days after your close contact with a person with Covid-19.

If you develop these symptoms, you should immediately contact a doctor or healthcare provider.

“If you become ill, you should cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough with disposable face tissue or into your elbow. Dispose of tissues and immediately wash your hands.

“Wash your hands regularly using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitisers (containing at least 60% alcohol),” the NICD advised.

If after 10 days you feel fine and are showing no symptoms of the virus, you can return to work, and it is not necessary to be retested.

"Retesting people who have experienced mild illness and have recovered from Covid-19 is not recommended. A person is considered safe to return to the workplace and discontinue self-isolation if they are no longer infectious.

“This means they developed their first symptoms more than 10 days prior and have not experienced any symptoms for at least three days (72 hours). However, returning to work is dependent on the patient’s clinical state of health.”

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