What is the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Most people who contract COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, but some people will have more severe symptoms. Symptoms can include:
• difficulty breathing (shortness of breath)
What does COVID-19 mean for people living with lung disease?
People with lung disease are among those who are most at risk of developing a serious case of COVID-19, as their respiratory health is already compromised.
If you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or believe you have otherwise been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed to have this infection, stay home and contact your respirologist and primary care provider for advice right away.
Call your respirologist and primary care provider if you have recently travelled from an area that has known cases of COVID-19
It is also highly important that you take actions to reduce the risk of getting sick with the disease, including:
- Making sure you have adequate supplies and medications
- Practice social distancing by keeping away from others who are sick (3 feet is recommended)
- Wash hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds. When unable to wash hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid non-essential travel
- If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to avoid exposure
- Avoid close contact (at least 3 feet away) with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Is there any link between vaping/smoking/water pipe use and susceptibility to COVID-19?
Yes. The use of shared water pipes has been linked to the spread of certain infectious diseases. Furthermore, the use of cold water in the water pipes can facilitate survival of bacteria and/or viruses. While information regarding susceptibility of those who smoke to contracting COVID-19 is still forthcoming, we do know that those who smoke are two to four times more likely to contract bacterial and/or viral infections. Among Chinese patients who contracted COVID-19 and have a history of smoking, the odds of disease progression or death were found to be 14 times higher. We strongly urge those who smoke, vape or use water pipes to quit. For more resources on quitting, click here. For more information, visit https://untobaccocontrol.org/kh/waterpipes/covid-19/.
Where do I find more information?
For up-to-date information visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Public Health Agency of Canada - CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) HOW TO ISOLATE AT HOME WHEN YOU HAVE COVID-19 [Download]
Public Health Agency of Canada - KNOW THE DIFFERENCE: SELF-MONITORING, SELF-ISOLATION, AND ISOLATION FOR COVID-19 [Download]
Public Health Agency of Canada - CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PUBLIC SPACES [Download]