COVID symptoms

COVID-19 Symptoms

Last updated 4/2/2022 – Press refresh or F5 to see the latest page


Glenfield Medical Centre will remain open throughout the COVID pandemic to look after our patients, but we will NEED YOUR HELP to ensure we can continue providing care to those who need them the most. To ensure our staff and phone lines remain accessible to critically ill patients, we would like patients seeking information to use our website as much as possible, or call the COVID-19 health advice line 0800 358 5453.

If you are unwell with any of these symptoms –> Get a COVID test


If you are having these symptoms –> seek medical attention, or call 111 for emergency
  • Difficulty breathing at rest, talking in short sentences or single words
  • Persistent non-stop coughing, or coughing up blood
  • Cold, clammy and dehydrated, minimal urine output in 12 hours
  • Confusion, fainting, falls


Some people are at a higher risk of developing severe illness –> seek advice or help earlier
  • Age over 70
  • Aged care facilities residents
  • Pasifika and Māori age over 40
  • Smoker
  • Pregnant

Medical conditions

  • Serious respiratory disease, COPD, asthma,
  • CPAP use for sleep apnoea
  • Serious heart conditions, stroke
  • Immunocompromised conditions
  • Diabetes that is not well controlled
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Active malignancy, or having treatment
While you have symptoms, even if your COVID test is negative
  • Stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and disinfect shared surfaces often.
  • Get a COVID test if you haven’t done so already.
  • If health authorities tell you to self-isolate, do so immediately. If you are waiting for test results you will also need to self-isolate.
The Omicron Variant

This is now the predominant COVID-19 variant in the community, with some major differences to the previous delta variant:

  • more transmissible, with a shorter incubation period (time from catching it to showing symptoms) of about 3 days (Jansen L et al. CDC MMWR. 2021)
  • Much higher proportion of asymptomatic infections, as high as 80-90% in vaccinated population compared to 40% with previous variants (Murray CJL. Lancet. 2022)
  • Tends to be more an upper respiratory tract infection, with fewer “typical” COVID symptoms of cough, fever or loss of taste/smell as highlighted in red (ZOE COVID study)

With Omicron, the most common COVID symptoms are runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache and fatigue. However, it is important to note that there will be a lot of asymptomatic infections/carriers, i.e. people with COVID but without any symptoms, who can still pass on COVID to others.

Fortunately, even though the Pfizer vaccine is less effective in preventing Omicron transmission, it remains very good at preventing severe COVID illness. With New Zealand’s high vaccination rate, the vast majority of Omicron cases will be mild, and can self manage at home.