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:

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

Read more about the symptoms and causes of coronavirus

Read more about coronavirus testing

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.

Follow this advice to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

Restricted movements and self-isolation

To help stop the spread of coronavirus you may need to either  restrict your movements or  self-isolate.

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.

Read more about restricted movements and self-isolation

Testing

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.

Read more about testing for coronavirus

Treatment

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.

Read more about treatment for coronavirus

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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