Published on March 25, 2020 at 20:05 / Updated on March 24, 2022 at 14:19

For several weeks now, a virus has been a hot topic of discussion. Indeed, news about the COVID-19, a coronavirus disease, has travelled the world over.

What are the main symptoms of COVID-19?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • New loss of smell or taste

The symptoms can be mild (similar to a cold) or more severe (such as the symptoms normally associated with pneumonia).

For the moment, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. However, a lot of research is currently being conducted.

The majority of people afflicted with COVID-19 will recover on their own.

How is COVID‑19 transmitted?

Usually, COVID-19 infects the nose, throat and lungs. It is often transmitted by:

  • Direct person-to-person contact with someone who is infected and who sneezes or coughs  
  • Direct hand contact on contaminated objects and surfaces; a person risks catching the virus if they then touch their mouth, nose or eyes  

Wearing a facial covering mask

According to Health Canada, wearing a homemade facial covering/non-medical mask in the community has not been proven to protect the person wearing it and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.

However, it can be an additional measure taken to protect others around you, even if you have no symptoms. It can be useful for short periods of time, when physical distancing is not possible in public settings, such as when grocery shopping or using public transit.

These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures. They do not provide complete protection from virus particles because of a potential loose fit and the materials used.

Medical masks, including surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators (like N95 masks), must be kept for health care workers and others providing direct care to COVID-19 patients.

How long does COVID‑19 remain on objects and surfaces?  

Generally and according to current data, COVID‑19 does not live on objects and surfaces very long:

  • Approximately 3 hours on dry objects and surfaces
  • 6 days on wet objects and surfaces

Call 1 877 644-4545 if you are coughing and have a fever.

Using the gouvernement du Québec's COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.

Self-Assessment Tool

What measures can I take to mitigate the risk of catching COVID-19?  

  • Wash your hands often with warm running water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based disinfectant if you do not have immediate access to water and soap.
  • Use good hygiene habits when you cough or sneeze:
    • Cover your mouth and nose with the bend of your arm in order to reduce the propagation of germs.
    • If you use tissue paper, throw it out as soon as possible and wash your hands.
    • If you are sick, avoid contact with people who are the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, or people with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems. For example, avoid visiting people in the hospital, in long-term care facilities or private homes.
    • Avoid greetings that require direct physical contact, such as a handshake. Rather, use contactless alternatives.

Each person has a role to play to reduce the spread of the virus.

I am worried about taking my medications. What should I do?

Regarding your medications, keep in mind the following information.

Stockpiling medications in advance can trigger drug shortages for all patients. It is important to ensure that vulnerable people have access to essential drugs. Your pharmacist is responsible for the supply of medications and knows the necessary quantities to best meet the needs of their patients.

It is preferable to call your pharmacy to have your prescriptions prepared in advance. You can also use Familiprix’s online renewal service or My Pharmacy mobile app.

Most pharmacies offer home delivery. If you must stay at home, you can have your medications delivered without having to leave your home.

Information and recommendations regarding COVID-19 are evolving at a rapid-fire pace. The following sites are excellent sources to keep you up-to-date: (French only)

What do I have?

✓ Main symptoms

◯ Possible in certain cases


Difficulty breathing

New loss of smell or taste

Sore throat
Nasal congestion
Runny or stuffy nose
Body aches


Source :World Health Organization

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