Access the latest COVID-19 updates for Iraq 

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure. The period following exposure and prior to the onset of symptoms is called the incubation period. Common signs and symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue

Early symptoms of Covid 19 may include a loss of taste or smell.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • headache
  • chest pain
  • pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • nausea
  • Vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • Skin rash
  • Keep a distance of at least 1 meter from others to reduce the risk of infection when they cough, sneeze or speak. Keep an even greater distance from others when indoors. The greater the distance, the better.
  • Make it a habit to wear a mask when you are with other people. Proper use, preservation, cleaning and disposal of masks is essential to make them as effective as possible.

Here is the basic information on how to wear a mask:

  • Clean your hands before putting on the mask, and before and after taking it off.
  • Make sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  • When you remove the mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and make sure to wash it daily if it is a cloth mask, or dispose it in the waste bin if it is a medical mask.
  • Do not use masks with valves.
  • For more details on what type of mask to wear and when to wear it, please see the Q&A section and watch the videos on our website. There are also questions and answers that focus on masks and children.
  • To learn more scientific information about the way a person becomes infected with COVID-19 and the way our bodies react, please watch or read This Interview.
  • For specific advice to decision makers, please see WHO FAO's Technical Guidelines.
  • Avoid the 3Cs: spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact.
    • Outbreaks have been reported in restaurants, choir practices, fitness classes, nightclubs, offices and places of worship where people have gathered, often in crowded indoor settings where they talk loudly, shout, breathe heavily or sing.
    • The risks of getting COVID-19 are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity. These environments are where the virus appears to spread by respiratory droplets or aerosols more efficiently, so taking precautions is even more important.
  • Meet people outside. Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor ones, particularly if indoor spaces are small and without outdoor air coming in.
    • For more information on how to hold events like family gatherings, children’s football games and family occasions, read our Q&A on small public gatherings.
  • Avoid crowded or indoor settings but if you can’t, then take precautions: