About COVID-19

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

The information below was published on 22 August 2022 and it is still current.

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?

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. Some people recover easily, and others get very sick very quickly. If you test positive for COVID-19 you may experience:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath.

Other symptoms include:

  • runny nose or congestion
  • headache or fatigue
  • muscle or joint pains
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or vomiting
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to some common illnesses, such as colds and flu, or allergies.

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.
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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