Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The disease caused by this new coronavirus has been named COVID-19. While many of the characteristics of COVID-19 are still unknown, mild to severe illness has been reported for confirmed cases.
If you have symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing and have travelled outside of Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, avoid contact with others. See a health care provider as soon as possible.
If you are going to visit your health care provider, call them ahead of time so they can arrange for you to be assessed safely. Wear a mask in order to protect others. If you are unsure about what to do or have concerns or questions, contact HealthLinkBC (8-1-1) at any time or speak with your health care provider.
When seeing a health care provider, please tell them:
- Your symptoms
- Where you have been travelling or living
- If you had direct contact with animals (for example, if you visited a live animal market)
- If you had close contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
Please do not go to the emergency department for novel coronavirus testing.
Nurses at 8-1-1 have been instructed to complete an exposure risk assessment of callers with compatible symptoms, such as cough or influenza-like symptoms. In some cases, the 8-1-1 nurses may suggest a caller go see a healthcare provider for assessment and testing, and recommend that the caller call ahead to tell the clinicians that they are coming.
If you are feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, please reference the self-assessment tool HERE or call 811 to speak to a registered nurse (711 for those hard of hearing)
Information courtesy of the BCCDC.
Infographic courtesy of Eddy Elmer.