Fever, cough and shortness of breath can be symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus but they’re also symptoms of seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses that are common at this time of year.
Call your local public health unit if:
- You have even mild symptoms.
- You have been exposed to someone known to be infected.
If you have symptoms and are concerned for any other reason that you may have COVID-19, you can call public health, but you could also call your provincial or territorial telehealth service, or call your doctor to talk about your risk.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and need immediate medical attention for example, if you’re having difficulty breathing go to your doctor or the emergency department, but call them or public health in advance so they can prepare and put infection control precautions in place.
You should self-isolate while waiting for test results. If you do test positive for COVID-19, you’ll need to be quarantined for 14 days.
It’s important to remember that the majority of people who get COVID-19 will only have mild to moderate symptoms, health experts say. For others, especially people who are elderly or have compromised immune systems, COVID-19 is life-threatening.
That’s why it’s critical that anyone with a cough, fever, shortness of breath or anyone feeling unwell stay home and not go to work until they are feeling better.
Here is a guide for what to do in your province or territory if you think you have COVID-19.