Page update at 9:52 September 10th 2020

What to do if you have symptoms

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. Here you’ll find all of the latest information on the symptoms and what you should do if you think you are sick.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • Fever
  • A new or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should not leave your home (except to get medical care as advised by a medical professional or in a medical emergency) if you have any of these symptoms or think you might have COVID-19. If you live with other people who do not have symptoms, you should practice self-isolation: separate yourself in a “sick room” if possible, and minimize contact with members of your household as much as you can. Wear a facemask around others, cover your coughs and sneezes, and clean your hands often. Call ahead before visiting your doctor, or schedule a visit by phone or telemedicine.

Use our COVID-19 Care Assistant

If you think you or someone you know might have coronavirus, you can check your symptoms using our COVID-19 Care Assistant. It helps you identify if you’re at risk, connects you with expert clinicians, and helps you self-monitor your health. It’s easy to use and helps you get the right care at the right time, all from your phone.

Use COVID-19 Care Assistant

How to self-isolate

If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus and are self-isolating, here’s some helpful information on what to do and how to cope when you’re stuck inside.

    See our guide


    Will I get seriously ill?

    Around 8 out of 10 people will get a mild form of the illness.1A small number of people go on to develop difficulty breathing and need to go to the hospital.

    Those who develop breathing issues usually do so in the second week of illness.2 3

    The people most at risk for developing more serious symptoms are those aged 65 or older, people living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and those with conditions such as serious heart disease, chronic lung disease (including moderate to severe asthma), compromised immune systems, poorly controlled diabetes, kidney or liver disease.

    How is coronavirus treated?

    Most people infected with coronavirus either have no symptoms at all or have mild ones, that require no treatment.

    There are currently no evidence-based recommendations for COVID-19 treatment. It cannot be treated with antibiotics, as it is a virus and not a bacterial infection.

    In rare and severe cases of COVID-19, treatment includes admission to the hospital and care focused on supporting the person through the course of the virus while their immune system works to overcome it.

    References:

    1. The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team. China CDC Weekly, 2020, 2(8): 113-122

    2. Zhou F et al. The Lancet. Online first, March 11, 2020 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30566-3/fulltext

    3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim clinical guidance for management of patients with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Updated March 7, 2010 www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html?deliveryName=USCDC_511-DM19049#foot02