How to identify coronavirus

If this is an emergency, please call 000 immediately.

What is coronavirus?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after someone is exposed to the virus and can include fever, chills, and cough.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus discovered in 2019.

The virus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

This guide is regularly updated and aligns with the current edition of Australian First Aid (4th edition, 7/2011)

Signs and Symptoms



  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat


Other symptoms


  • 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


What to do

Isolate yourself.



Call your doctor.


List travel history.


Cover your cough.


Wash your hands often.



Coronavirus fact sheet

Related advice

Hand washing

The single most important action you can do to avoid infection is washing your hands. We’ve put together a quick fact sheet about the best way to wash your hands to avoid infection.

Hand rubbing

Using sanitiser or liquid alcohol handrub? Here’s a handy fact sheet about the best, most effective way to use handrub.

Asthma attack

Most people who experience asthma attacks should have an action plan and medication with them at all times. Here is a fact sheet of what to do if someone has an asthma attack.

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