According to the World Health Organization, it appears that symptoms of COVID-19 are usually appearing within 2 days of exposure.

On a "FAQ" page that popped up on Google when I searched for "I tested positive for COVID-19, what now?", the following suggestion appeared:

If people test positive, they should be isolated and the people they have been in close contact with up to 2 days before they developed symptoms should be sought out, and those people should be tested too if they show symptoms of COVID-19. - WHO, Google

I was also on the phone with a contact tracer for the Louisiana Department of Health, and as part of the questioning, the math made it clear that they were looking 2 days prior to the infected person's symptoms appearing.

When I specifically search Google for "How long does it take for symptoms of COVID-19 to appear after exposure?", the answer was not as clear: "2-14 days".


So, the WHO says to contact anyone you may have come into contact with 2 days prior to showing symptoms, and contact tracers are looking for information no earlier than 2 days prior to symptoms being shown, but the CDC says it could take 14 days for symptoms to rear their ugly heads? If it can take up to 14 days, why weren't the contact tracers concerned with the 14 days prior to the symptoms appearing?

If you are a health care professional and can show me the science behind this brain-twister, please shed some light for me.

Regardless of the actual number of days it takes for the symptoms to appear, one thing the agencies seem to agree upon is this: if you think you were exposed, it is recommended you self-isolate for no fewer than 14 days.


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