Healthcare

BC Health Link

 

Symptoms and treatment

Symptoms range from mild – like the flu and other common respiratory infections – to severe. The most common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

Complications from the 2019 novel coronavirus can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, and there is no vaccine that protects against coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own.You should:

  • drink plenty of fluids
  • get rest and sleep as much as possible
  • try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough

If you start to feel symptoms of COVID-19Anyone who begins to feel unwell (fever, new cough or difficulty breathing) should return home and self-isolate immediately.People who are self-isolating should seek clinical assessment over the phone – either by calling their primary care provider’s office . If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider will direct you to in-person care options. If you need immediate medical attention you should call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.

Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C., or for the deaf and hard of hearing, call 7-1-1 or for Video Relay Service, call 604-215-5101.

You can speak with a health service navigator, who can also connect you with a:

  • Registered nurse any time, every day of the year
  • Registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm PT, Monday to Friday
  • Qualified exercise professional from 9am to 5pm PT, Monday to Friday
  • Pharmacist from 5pm to 9am PT, every day of the year

Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.


How to protect yourself

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus, but there are actions you can take to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.

Everyday actions:

Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  •  avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick

Physical distancing:

Everyone in Canada should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people.Everyone in Canada should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families. Close contact includes being within two (2) meters of another person.If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, you should begin to self-monitor for a period of 14 days. This means that, in addition to physical distancing, you should track how you feel. You should take your temperature daily and log any other symptoms that develop (for example, sore throat, new cough). You can share these records with your primary care provider over the phone if you seek assessment services.

How to self-isolate:

Self-isolating means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others in your home and your community.

All persons over 70 years of age and individuals who are immunocompromised are advised to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. This means that you should only leave your home or see other people for essential reasons. Where possible, you should seek services over the phone or internet or ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands.

When self-isolating you should:

Stay home

  • do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares
  •  do not go to work, school or other public places
  • your health care provider will tell you when it is safe to leave

Limit the number of visitors in your home

  •  only have visitors who you must see and keep the visits short
  • keep away from seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (for example, diabetes, lung problems, immune deficiency)

Avoid contact with others

  • stay in a separate room away from other people in your home as much as possible and use a separate bathroom if you have one
  • make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (for example, open windows)

Keep distance

  • if you are in a room with other people, keep a distance of at least two metres and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth
  • if you cannot wear a mask, people should wear a mask when they are in the same room as you

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand
  • throw used tissues in a lined waste basket, and wash your hands. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.
  • after emptying the wastebasket wash your hands

Wash your hands

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one else shares
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth

  • wear a mask if you must leave your house to see a health care provider
  • wear a mask when you are within two metres of other people”
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