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Coronavirus

If you have recently travelled from an affected area or want information about coronavirus, go to our coronavirus page. Information for healthcare professionals is available on hpsc.ie

Last updated: 14 March 2020 at 8.45pm

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.

The main symptoms to look out for are:

If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test.

Read more about the symptoms and causes of coronavirus

Protect yourself and others from coronavirus

Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. To infect you, it has to get from an infected person's nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth. 

It’s important to wash your hands properly and often.

Follow this advice to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

Travel and coronavirus

You will need to self-quarantine if you’re returning to Ireland from certain countries.

You should also follow the advice from the Department of Foreign affairs if you are thinking about travelling abroad.

Find out more about travel and coronavirus

At-risk groups and coronavirus

There are some groups of people who may be more at risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus. But we do not think these groups have a higher risk of catching coronavirus. This is similar to other infections such as flu.

Read more about at-risk groups and coronavirus

Pregnancy and coronavirus

When you are pregnant, your body naturally weakens your immune system. This is to help your pregnancy continue successfully. It means that when you are pregnant you may pick up infections more easily.

All pregnant women should get the flu vaccine. This will protect you and your baby from the flu, not from coronavirus.

Read more about pregnancy and coronavirus

Self-isolation and self-quarantine

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) you may need to either self-quarantine or self-isolate.

Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. You will need to do this if you are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus and you are still well.

Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. You will need to do this if you have symptoms of coronavirus.

Read more about self-quarantine and self-isolation

Medicines

There is no need to order more medicines than you need. This will affect the supply of medicines to others.  There is no disruption to the supply of medicines.

If you have respiratory symptoms, do not attend your pharmacy in person. Phone your pharmacist if you need to order a prescription. Ask a family member to collect any medicines you need.

Pets and coronavirus

There is no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs can catch or spread coronavirus.

Interpreting service for deaf people

Deaf people can contact HSELive using Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS).

IRIS is available from 9am to 7pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday.

To access the service using Irish Sign Language, book an appointment or email hselive@hse.ie.

More information

COVID-19 updates - how the health service is responding to the global spread of coronavirus

Department of Foreign Affairs – updated travel information and advice

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre – information for health professionals

Read about hospital service disruptions and visiting restrictions

page last reviewed: 13/03/2020
next review due: 13/03/2023