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 incubation 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 less common.

Symptoms have included:

  • cough

  • fever

  • difficulty breathing

  • pneumonia in both lungs

In severe cases, infection can lead to death.

If you or your child become ill

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, reduce your contact with others:

  • isolate yourself at home for 14 days to avoid spreading it to others

    • if you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a 2-metre distance

  • visit a health care professional or call your local public health authority

    • call ahead to tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions

Children who have mild COVID-19 symptoms are able to stay at home with a caregiver throughout their recovery without needing hospitalization. If you are caring for a child who has suspected or probable COVID-19, it is important to follow the advice for caregivers. This advice will help you protect yourself, others in your home, as well as others in the community.

If you become sick while travelling back to Canada:

  • inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer

  • advise a Canada border services agent on arrival in Canada if you believe you were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms

    • this is required under the Quarantine Act

    • the Canada border services agent will provide instructions for you to follow.

Feelings of fear, stress and worry are normal in a crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is new and unexpected. This situation can be unsettling and can cause a sense of loss of control. It is normal for people and communities to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or worried. People may react in different ways. Some common feelings may include:

  • Fear of becoming ill or infected with COVID-19, or infecting others

  • A sense of being socially excluded or judged by others

  • Fear of being separated from loved ones due to isolation or physical distancing

  • Feelings of helplessness, boredom, loneliness and depression as a result of isolation or physical distancing

  • Fear of losing your job or not being able to work and struggling financially

  • Concern about your children’s education and wellbeing

Care for your mental and physical wellbeing

  • Stay informed but take breaks from social media, watching, reading, or listening to news stories

  • Practice physical distancing, but stay connected. Talk to friends or family about your feelings and concerns through email, phone calls, video chats and social media platforms

  • Practice mindfulness. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate

  • Try to eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep

  • Consider how to take advantage of any unexpected flexibility in your daily routine

  • Focus on the positive aspects of your life and things you can control

  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others

  • If you can, minimize substance use. If you do use substances, practice safer use and good hygiene

(All information here provided by the Canadian Federal Government,


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