The United States CDC estimates the incubation period for COVID-19 to be between 2 and 14 days, however some countries have reported cases with incubation periods of up to 27 days.
Why the incubation period is important
The incubation period of an infectious disease is the time interval between the exposure to a disease‐causing infectious agent and the onset of symptomatic disease. By understanding the incubation period it allows us to be more aware and health authorities to introduce more effective quarantine systems to control and hopefully prevent the spread of the virus.
Incubation period comparison with other viruses
The incubation period of other viruses compared to the coronavirus which is 2-14 days based on the current official estimated range for the coronavirus COVID-19.
|Virus||Incubation Period (Estimates)||Incubation Period (Median)|
|Seasonal Flu||1-4 days||2 days|
|Coronavirus||2-14 days or (2-27 days)||5.5 days|
|SARS||2-10 days||4 days|
|MERS||2-14 days||5 days|
|Swine Flu||1-7 days||2 days|
This date is based on estimates to give a comparison of the coronavirus vs other viruses with the United States CDC estimating the incubation period for COVID-19 to be between 2 and 14 days and the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting an incubation period between 2 and 10 days.