COVID-19: What to watch for, when to go to the hospital

Do you have a new cough? Not the same cough you've always had, but a new one?

With new cases of Covid-19 being reported each day, Royal Victoria Hospital offers this advice on what symptoms to watch for.

“If they think they may have been exposed to this virus, this novel coronavirus which we call COVID-19, they need to ask themselves some questions,” said Cathy Clark, Director of Safety, Security, and Occupational
Health at RVH, “Do I have a fever? Do I have a new cough? Not the one I’ve had for the last twenty years, but a new cough? Am I feeling generally unwell? And have I traveled to one of the impacted zones?”

“Right now those zones (as of March 4) are China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, and Italy,” Clark added, “If you’ve travelled to those countries in particular, and if you have those symptoms, we would encourage you to call Telehealth or our local Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. They can help you determine if you’ve had that exposure and they will let you know to come to the hospital.”

Most patients who have contracted COVID-19 are sent home to recover. Clark says the rest of the house does need to be taken care of while someone is down with the sickness. “If you have someone unwell — and this is general whether it’s coronavirus or another virus and influenza is circulating right now — is try to keep that person as isolated as possible,” said Clark, “keeping family hand washing up, use antibacterial wipes on the common surfaces in your home,”