Know the facts about COVID-19
Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada
COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. This coronavirus is a new virus that was first recognized December 2019 in Wuhan, China. These are a large family of viruses, some of which infect animals, and others that can infect humans.
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 are often similar to other illnesses.
Symptoms of human coronaviruses can:
- take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus
- be very mild or more serious
- vary from person to person
Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
- respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands
These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.
The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
- avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- cough and sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands;
- practice physical distancing at all times;
- stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others; and
- wear a non-medical mask or face covering, made with at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, constructed to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping, and secured to the head by ties or ear loops, to protect the people and surfaces around you.
Note: The Government of Canada has implemented an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. This order means that everyone who is entering Canada by air, sea or land has to stay home for 14 days in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The 14-day period begins on the day you enter Canada.
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