What COVID-19 (coronavirus) is

general information

COVID-19 causes a respiratory (lung) infection. Most healthy people who are sick with COVID-19 will have a mild illness, like a cold. Some people who are sick with COVID-19 will need to get care in the hospital.

Symptoms of COVID-19

People who are sick with COVID-19 may have symptoms like a fever, a cough, difficulty breathing, or pneumonia. Symptoms may be very mild or more serious. If someone has COVID-19, they may not show symptoms at all. These people can still infect others. Or, someone sick with COVID-19 may not show symptoms until up to 14 days later.


How COVID-19 spreads

The COVID-19 is most commonly spread by an infected person through:

  • Droplets of liquid when they cough or sneeze
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands
  • Sharing forks, spoons, or drink containers

How to stop the spread of COVID-19

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly
  • Always stay at least 2 meters away from other people
  • You have a higher risk of having serious health problems related to COVID-19 if you are 65 years or older or if you have certain medical conditions. Some of these medical conditions include: heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, diabetes or cancer. You are also at a higher risk of having serious health problems related to COVID-19 if you have a weakened immune system, such as if you have had a medical treatment like chemotherapy.