Common symptoms and what to do

Key points about common symptoms and what to do

  • With lots of different sicknesses going around, it can be difficult to figure out what your symptoms might mean. 
  • Below is a list of common illnesses and symptoms that you might be experiencing.
  • If you have any of these symptoms, first of all check that they are not COVID-19 by doing a RAT test.
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With COVID still circulating, it's important to rule that out by doing a RAT test. If the result is positive, read more about what to do next.

If the result is negative,  keep reading to find out more about:

  • how you can take care of yourself and your whānau at home
  • what to watch out for
  • when to seek medical advice.
If you are worried and want to talk to someone about symptoms you or your whānau are experiencing, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 to talk to a trained health professional. Otherwise, talk to your local pharmacist about how to manage your symptoms.

A high temperature (fever over 38ºC)

This can relate to:

2. A cough (adults or children)

This can relate to:

A sore throat (adults or children)

This can relate to:

Other common symptoms

It can be helpful with patients to explain how long their symptoms may take to resolve. If you let people know that an acute cough could last up to one month, it reduces/stops people returning a few days later wanting antibiotics. 

For example, a 2013 study showed that in 90% of children:

  • earache was resolved in eight days, 
  • sore throat between two and seven (but remember antibiotics for 10 days in high-risk rheumatic fever groups), 
  • croup resolved in two days, 
  • bronchiolitis in 21 days,
  • acute cough in 25 days, 
  • common cold in 15 days,
  • non-specific respiratory tract infection symptoms resolved in 16 days. 

Note: Study populations varied in duration of symptoms before study onset. The data came from the control arm of intervention trials and observational studies. Any symptomatic treatment was assumed to not shorten symptoms.



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Credits: Northern Region Health Coordination Centre & Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

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