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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

June 26, 2020 by HealthyFamilies BC

Checking temperature

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough or worsening of chronic cough
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Less common symptoms can also include stuffy nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), dizziness, confusion, abdominal pain, skin rashes or discoloration of gingers or toes.

For more information, visit BC Centre for Disease Control's Symptoms page.

How is it spread?

COVID-19 is transmitted by liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. This virus can enter through these droplets through the eye, nose or throat if you are in close contact with someone who is ill. It can also spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough and then go on to touch a surface. 

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash hands regularly using soap and water for 20 seconds. Have your child sing “Happy Birthday” twice to help them wash for the right amount of time
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve
  • Practice physical distancing to minimize close contact with others by keeping 2 metres (six feet) apart when outside of our homes
  • Stay home except for essential errands like grocery shopping once a week
  • Avoid crowded places and non-essential gatherings

To learn more about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, see BC Centre for Disease Contol's Prevention & Risks page.

Use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool to help you determine whether you may need further assessment or testing.

Contact your family doctor or nurse practitioner if are a concerned about your health and COVID-19. If you have general health questions or concerns, contact HealthLinkBC (8-1-1) at any time, day or night. If it becomes harder to breathe, you can’t drink anything or feel much worse seek urgent medical care at an urgent and primary care centre or emergency department. If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing or severe bleeding, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.

For more information visit and see the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Health Feature.

Recommended Resources:

BC Centre for Disease Control – Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

BC Centre for Disease Control – Questions and Answers for Kids


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