What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus, which has not been previously identified in humans. In most cases, COVID-19 causes mild symptoms including dry cough, tiredness and fever, though fever may not be a symptom for some older people. Other mild symptoms include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and has difficulty breathing.

Source: WHO

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What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are



Dry cough


Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:


Loss of taste or smell,

Nasal congestion,

Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)

Sore throat,


Muscle or joint pain,

Different types of skin rash,

Nausea or vomiting,


Chills or dizziness.

Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include:


Shortness of breath,

Loss of appetite,


Persistent pain or pressure in the chest,

High temperature (above 38 °C).

Other less common symptoms are:



Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures),



Sleep disorders,

More severe and rare neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium and nerve damage.

People of all ages who experience fever and/or cough associated with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical care immediately. If possible, call your health care provider, hotline or health facility first, so you can be directed to the right clinic.

Source: WHO

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What test should I get to see if I have COVID-19?

In most situations, a molecular test is used to detect SARS-CoV-2 and confirm infection. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most commonly used molecular test. Samples are collected from the nose and/or throat with a swab. Molecular tests detect virus in the sample by amplifying viral genetic material to detectable levels. For this reason, a molecular test is used to confirm an active infection, usually within a few days of exposure and around the time that symptoms may begin.

Source: WHO

When should I get a test for COVID-19?

Anyone with symptoms should be tested, wherever possible. People who do not have symptoms but

have had close contact with someone who is, or may be, infected may also consider

testing – contact your local health guidelines and follow their guidance.


While a person is waiting for test results, they should remain isolated from others. Where testing

capacity is limited, tests should first be done for those at higher risk of infection, such as health

workers, and those at higher risk of severe illness such as older people, especially those

living in seniors' residences or long-term care facilities.

Source: WHO

What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, call your health care provider or COVID-19

hotline for instructions and find out when and where to get a test, stay at home for 14 days away

from others and monitor your health.


If you have shortness of breath or pain or pressure in the chest, seek medical attention at a health

facility immediately. Call your health care provider or hotline in advance for direction to the right

health facility.


If you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever, seek medical care if you have a fever.


If local guidance recommends visiting a medical center for testing, assessment or isolation, wear a medical mask while travelling to and from the facility and during medical care. Also keep at least a

1-meter distance from other people and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. This applies to

adults and children.

Source: WHO

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