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.
Symptoms may include:
- new or worsening cough
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- sore throat
- runny nose, sneezing, congestion
- 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, the remainder of the household is not required to isolate while awaiting the result if the symptomatic person can isolate away from the family.
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).