About COVID-19

What is COVID-19? What are the symptoms? Read all about COVID-19 here.

Information current as at 08 August 2020

Find out the facts about Coronavirus

Source: Australian Department of Health

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia.

Some people get only mild symptoms, recover easily and others may get very sick very quickly. The virus spreads from person to person.

There is no way of knowing how severely the virus will impact each individual so getting tested, isolating until you are cleared of the virus and maintaining high levels of hand and respiratory hygiene are so important in reducing further spread of the virus.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness

Some people who are ill may have:

  • Aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhoea (this is rare)

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. However, regardless of the severity of the symptoms experienced all people who test positive to COVID-19 must isolate to reduce further infection.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing.

These serious symptoms may include:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement

The World Health Organisation has produced a video below which explains the virus, where it came from, what it does, how it’s transmitted, what the symptoms are, and how we can prevent infection.

This information sheet from the Australian Department of Health also has useful information.

Video content description: YouTube video from World Health Organisation explaining what COVID-19 is.

When should I get tested?

To stop the spread of COVID-19 people with even mild symptoms of respiratory infection should get tested.

If you are concerned you may have COVID-19:

  • Use the symptom checker
  • Get tested
  • Call 1800 020 080 if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Easy English resources about COVID-19

NDIS Easy Read – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information 

Council for Intellectual Disability - Staying Safe from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 

DHHS – Slowing the spread