About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. Some coronaviruses can cause no symptoms or mild illness, like the common cold, while other coronaviruses can cause severe illness. Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.

Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for older people and people with chronic disease (for example: diabetes, cancer, heart, renal, or chronic lung disease)

Human coronaviruses are not uncommon and usually cause mild illnesses, like the common cold.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may include:

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • chills
  • sore throat
  • runny nose, sneezing, congestion
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • unusual fatigue
  • acute loss of sense of smell or taste

Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea have been reported, but typically in conjunction with other COVID-19 symptoms, and may be more frequent in children.

When any member of a household develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, all members of the household must begin self-isolation and monitor for symptoms until the test results return.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is most commonly spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and the droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or inhaled into the lungs.

You may also catch it from touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

Am I at risk of getting sick with COVID-19?

Your risk of severe illness may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for: older people or people with chronic disease (for example: diabetes, cancer, heart, renal, or chronic lung disease).

Published date: 
May 19, 2020
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca