Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Symptoms and treatment
Want to join the effort to limit the spread of COVID-19?
On this page
Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person. They may also vary in different age groups.
Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:
- new or worsening cough
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- temperature equal to or over 38°C
- feeling feverish
- fatigue or weakness
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of smell or taste
- gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
- feeling very unwell
Children tend to have abdominal symptoms and skin changes or rashes.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.
You can infect others even if you aren’t showing symptoms
The virus can be spread to others from someone who’s infected but not showing symptoms. This includes people who:
- haven’t yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic)
- never develop symptoms (asymptomatic)
This kind of spread is known to happen among those who are in close contact or are in enclosed or crowded settings.
Think you may have been exposed to COVID-19? Follow the advice on how to quarantine at home when you may have been exposed but have no symptoms.
If you're travelling with or without symptoms, be aware of what’s expected of you when entering Canada.
- Quarantine instructions for travellers without symptoms of COVID-19 returning to Canada by air
- Isolation instructions for travellers with COVID-19 symptoms returning to Canada by air
- Quarantine instructions for travellers without symptoms of COVID-19 returning to Canada by land
- Isolation instructions for travellers with COVID-19 symptoms returning to Canada by land
If you’re sick or caring for someone who’s sick
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19:
- contact your local public health authority and
- isolate yourself at home for 14 days to avoid spreading it to others
Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own.
Adults and children who have mild COVID-19 symptoms are able to stay at home with a caregiver throughout their recovery without needing hospitalization. If you’re a caregiver, follow the advice on how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home.
The only way to confirm you have COVID-19 is through a laboratory test.
Take a self-assessment to find out if you should be tested.
If you're waiting for a test result, isolate at home, whether you have symptoms or not.
If you’ve tested positive
If you've received a positive test result for COVID-19, you must isolate at home, whether you have symptoms or not. Remain isolated for up to 14 days or as directed by your local public health authority.
If you didn’t have symptoms when you got tested but develop them during your isolation period, you must restart your isolation time as directed by the local public health authority.
Consider downloading and using the COVID Alert app. It can let people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear.
If the app notifies you about potential exposure, you should follow the guidance from your local public health authority.
You can help slow the spread of infection and prevent future outbreaks.
If you’re concerned about your symptoms, self-monitor for any changes and consult your health care provider. They may recommend steps you can take to relieve your symptoms.
People who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and need breathing assistance may be treated with dexamethasone.
We’ve authorized certain products to treat COVID-19 and its symptoms.
Certain medications can also help to ease symptoms like fever and cough.
Learn more about treatments being developed for COVID-19.
What COVID-19 information do you need?
- Find out if you can travel to Canada
- Testing and quarantine requirements
- COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada
- Compassionate exemptions
- Registration of Canadians Abroad service
- Check if you have been exposed during recent travel
- Foreign workers coming to Canada
- Passport services
- Health and safety
- Risks and spread
- Difference between quarantine vs isolate
- Overview of the risks of getting COVID-19
- Surface contamination
- How can I go out safely during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Which people are at risk of severe outcomes?
- Pregnancy and risks related to COVID-19
- Can my pet or other animals get sick from this virus?
- How do I care for a person with COVID-19 at home?
- Symptoms and treatment
- What can I do to care for my mental and physical health?
- Drug and medical device supply monitoring
- For clinical trial sponsors
- Income support
- Additional economic and financial support
- Support for businesses
- Avoiding layoffs, rehiring employees and creating new jobs
- Financial support, loans and access to credit
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) interest-free loans
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
- Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
- Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
- Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
- Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund
- Mid-Market Financing Program
- Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program
- Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)
- Additional support by sector
- Provincial and territorial support
- Self-employed individuals
- Indigenous businesses
- Support for sectors
- Agriculture and agri-food
- Aquaculture and fisheries
- Cultural, heritage and sport
- Organizations helping Canadians
- Vulnerable populations
- Indigenous organizations and communities
- About COVID-19
- E-mail updates on COVID-19
- Current confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Canada
- More details about the cases reported in Canada
- How does it spread?
- Where can I get information specific to my province or territory?
- How governments are working together
- Resources for parents and children
- Resources for youth, students and young adults
- Resources for seniors and their caregivers
- Resources for Indigenous communities
- People with disabilities
Thank you for your feedback
- Date modified: