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 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered to be rare.
Symptoms have included:
pneumonia in both lungs
In severe cases, the infection can lead to death.
If you become ill
If you feel sick during travel to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant, cruise staff or a Canadian border services officer. They will decide whether you need further medical assessment by a quarantine officer.
If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead or tell them when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness. You may be asked to wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent the spread of the illness.
If you have travelled abroad and you develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing in the next 14 days:
isolate yourself within the home as quickly as possible and
call your health care provider or public health authority
Tell them your symptoms and travel history. Let them know whether you have had direct contact with animals or a sick person, especially if they have had symptoms.
It is important to know how you can prepare in case you or a family member become ill.
Coronavirus infections are diagnosed by a health care provider based on symptoms and are confirmed through laboratory tests.
At this time, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 or any natural health products that are authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19.
Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own. Your health care provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.
Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if:
you are concerned about your symptoms or you have a travel history to a region where severe coronaviruses are known to occur.
The sooner you consult your health care provider, the better your chances are for recovery.