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Infectious Diseases

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

What is COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)?

COVID-19 is an illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was first identified in late 2019 and declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.

How is it spread?

COVID-19 & respiratory viruses are spread by:

  • Respiratory and aerosol droplets when an infected person breathes, coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks. Large droplets can fall to the ground quickly and smaller droplets (aerosols) can linger in the air, especially in indoor spaces.
  • Close contact: being within 2 meters of an infected person for 15 minutes or more, or for multiple short periods of time without a mask.
  • Surface contact: touching something with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

What symptoms should I watch for?

Symptoms of COVID-19 and its variants range from mild — like the flu and other common respiratory infections — to severe.

Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:

  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • temperature equal to or more than 38°C
  • feeling feverish
  • chills
  • fatigue or weakness
  • muscle or body aches
  • new loss of smell or taste
  • headache
  • abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting
  • feeling very unwell

COVID-19: Symptoms, treatment, what to do if you feel sick - Canada.ca

What is the treatment for Coronavirus?

  • There are treatments available to help prevent serious illness from COVID-19 infection. Connect with your healthcare provider, assessment centre, or pharmacy for more information.
  • Use this screening tool to determine if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness and may benefit from these treatments.

How can I protect myself and others?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. A range of 60-90% alcohol is effective in reducing bacteria on the hands.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wearing a well-fitted mask
  • Vaccinations 

Click here to learn more.

COVID-19: Travel Requirements 

  • Travel requirements can vary from country to country. Please check prior to travelling on current COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.

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