The median incubation period for the novel coronavirus is about 5 days—which is similar to SARS, according to a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Current knowledge about the coronavirus and its incubation period is limited. However, both SARS and MERS are related to the coronavirus and estimates suggest patients can be asymptomatic or result in mild to severe symptoms with COVID-19. And one early study done in Wuhan based on 88 confirmed cases estimated that the median incubation period was 6.4 days, the study authors noted, with a range from 2 to 11 days. Another study using 158 cases of coronavirus estimated that the range was between 2 and 14 days, they added.
To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your face.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Stay home if you feel unwell.
Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.
Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.
We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.