Signs and symptoms

Where is the latest primary care guidance?

Reviewed 17 November 2021

The Ministry of Health website has the latest guidance for health professionals about the symptoms and treatment of COVID-19. Members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the advice found on this site.  


Who can I call for clinical advice?

Reviewed 2 September 2021

The Ministry of Health has a dedicated COVID-19 advice line for clinical queries: Call 0800 177 622 Monday to Saturday 8am -8pm (with the exception of public holidays).

The College also has dedicated online question form. Clinical queries will be answered by Clinical Advisor Dr Peter Moodie and our Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty.

What is the case definition of COVID-19?

Updated 30 September 2021

The Ministry of Health is responsible for reviewing, updating and publishing the case definition of COVID-19.

You can find the current case definition here.


How long does it take for symptoms to appear?

Reviewed 18 August 2021

The World Health Organization has provided the following guidance:

The time from exposure to COVID-19 to the moment when symptoms begin is, on average, 5-6 days and can range from 1-14 days. This is why people who have been exposed to the virus are advised to remain at home and stay away from others, for 14 days, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, especially where testing is not easily available.