What is the new coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, causing from the common cold to more severe diseases. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus identified in China in late December 2019. It has spread to other countries in the world.
Is there treatment for the coronavirus?
There are no specific treatments or vaccines for corona viruses. Most people will recover on their own and are advised to drink lots of water or fluids, get rest and sleep, and try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough. People who are very sick with symptoms (such as difficulty breathing) or at risk of complications, should go to the nearest COVID-19 assessment centre to be assessed.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of novel Coronavirus are similar to influenza (Flu) and include: fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the infection can lead to hospitalization or death.
How coronavirus spreads?
Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
- respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.
Risk of getting coronavirus
COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.
This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system.
You are at risk of COVID-19 if you have:
- been in close contact with someone tested and has the virus
- been in close contact with someone with a suspected case of the virus
- been in close contact with someone who has recently traveled to the affected area and has symptoms of respiratory illness
- if you are at risk of getting the virus and you have symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider or nursing station right away
- your risk of becoming very sick may be higher if you have a weakened immune system – this includes older adults and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart problems or cancer
- Have you been on a recent flight, cruise, train, or at a public gathering? Check the listed exposure locations to see if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.