COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear. They can be similar to the symptoms of cold and flu.
Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
- a fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above)
- a cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
For people who get infected with coronavirus:
- 80% will have mild illness and make a full recovery within a few weeks
- 14% will have a more severe illness
- 6% will have a critical illness
Protect yourself and others from coronavirus
Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. To infect you, it has to get from an infected person’s nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth.
It’s important to wash your hands properly and often.
Restricted movements and self-isolation
Restricted movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. You will need to do this if you are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus and you are still well.
Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. You will need to do this if you have symptoms of coronavirus.
How people are assessed for coronavirus tests changed on 25 March.
There are no changes to healthcare worker appointments for coronavirus testing. These will go ahead as planned.
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. But many of the symptoms of coronavirus can be treated at home. Take any medication you are already taking as usual, unless you are told not to by a healthcare professional.
Most people who catch coronavirus will experience mild symptoms. They should make a full recovery without needing to go to hospital.
If your symptoms get worse and you feel very unwell you may need to go to hospital.
At-risk groups and coronavirus
There are some groups of people who may be more at risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus. But we do not think these groups have a higher risk of catching coronavirus. This is similar to other infections such as flu.
People in these groups will be prioritised for tests if they have symptoms of coronavirus.
Information taken from the HSE
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