What is COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19
“Coronaviruses” are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19, or “novel coronavirus,” is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.
Some people infected with COVID-19 may have mild symptoms or no symptoms. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.
Symptoms are similar to those of a cold or flu. They have included the following:
- difficulty breathing
- pneumonia in both lungs
The risk of serious infection appears to be higher for older people and those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, heart or chronic lung disease.How to prevent the spread of COVID-19
To minimize the risk of infection, everyone should take these basic infection prevention measures:
- Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched household objects and surfaces, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay at least one metre away from anyone who is coughing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (or your bent elbow/sleeve if a tissue is not available).
Remain informed from reliable sources, such as the World Health Organization
, the Ontario Ministry of Health
, Ontario Public Health
and Hamilton Public Health
If you become ill
Anyone who becomes ill should not go to work, school or other places where they risk spreading an infection to others.
If you become ill, please seek medical assistance as required. Consult your local Public Health Authority, Ontario’s Telehealth service, or your doctor.