Preparing for COVID-19: The lessons from SARS 2003 in Canada

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David White


What is Covid-19?

Definition: COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. It was first recognized in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

Course: Symptoms usually begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

At risk: Older people, and those with underlying medical problems. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

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How to Cite
White D. Preparing for COVID-19: The lessons from SARS 2003 in Canada. APFM [Internet]. 2020Mar.23 [cited 2021Sep.22];18(1). Available from:
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1.Information in this document is adapted from the WHO coronavirus website:
2.As an example, see the attachment, extracted from Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee. Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings. 3rd edition. Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer for Ontario; November 2012.