When you don’t follow instructions to protect yourself from coronavirus.

Sadly, the initial symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to the seasonal flu and even the common cold, so you may not know whether you are infected with COVID-19.
The symptoms can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Pneumonia in both lungs (which would be seen on a chest X-ray). 

Not everyone who is infected with COVID-19 has symptoms, and some people will only exhibit very minor symptoms.

The only way to confirm COVID-19 is with a lab test. Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days after exposure.
The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19.


  1. Wash your hands often.
    Use soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching your face.
    Your eyes, nose and mouth are common entry points for germs.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    Also, be more restrained in workplace physical interactions (e.g., consider skipping handshakes).
  4. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
    Use a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands).
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    At work, think about desks, computer mice and keyboards, thermoses, telephones and cell phones, and door handles.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, or traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, don’t make an appointment or walk into your local military hospital or clinic. Instead, stay at home and speak with a Medical care unit registered nurse, who will assess your symptoms. The nurse can screen you for potential or suspected exposure or infection. If needed, they can coordinate a virtual visit with a health care provider.