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Medical care if you have COVID-19

Most people will have minor symptoms just as you would for many other mild viruses, particularly if you are vaccinated and otherwise healthy. The majority of people will be able to manage their symptoms at home while isolating. It is possible to have mild symptoms at the start of your illness, but become sicker over time.

You should seek medical advice if you:

  • are not improving after 2 or 3 days
  • have a chronic health condition
  • are pregnant.

You should only go to hospital or call Triple Zero (000) if you have severe symptoms like:

  • difficulty breathing even when walking around the house
  • coughing up blood
  • significant chest pain
  • collapse or fainting.

If you need to call Triple Zero (000), ask for an ambulance. If you can, explain to the operator that you have COVID-19.

If you have a speech and/or hearing impairment and use telecommunication devices for the deaf, contact the Text Emergency Relay Service on 106.

How to look after yourself at home

The majority of people will be able to manage their symptoms at home, just as you would for many other mild viruses. It is important to:

  • get lots of rest
  • drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable
  • keep in contact (not face to face) with family and friends who can check in on how you are doing.

Vaccination after having COVID-19

Even if you’ve had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated. You are far less likely to get severe disease should you get COVID-19 again if you have been vaccinated.

After you have recovered, you can get vaccinated or receive your booster or third dose. You must not attend a vaccination appointment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

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You can get support in your own language:

  • Interpreter Service (Help with English) - call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or 134 COVID (13 42 68) and ask for an interpreter.
  • Multicultural Connect Line free hotline number - 1300 079 020
  • You can also call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 who can connect you to a health service.

In most cases, families will be able to stay together if one or more members get COVID-19. If you need to go to hospital, you may need to organise temporary care for your children, even if they have COVID-19. Ask a trusted adult if they are willing to care for your children if they have COVID-19.

Getting COVID-19 while pregnant

If you are pregnant, you are at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. You are at greater risk of needing:

  • admission to hospital
  • admission to an intensive care unit
  • breathing support.

The risk is higher if you are pregnant and over 35 years old, overweight, or obese, or have pre-existing health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Having COVID-19 also increases the risk of your baby being:

  • born prematurely
  • admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

If you test positive to COVID-19, you will be cared for.

The best way to minimise these risks is to get vaccinated. It is safe to get vaccinated if you are pregnant.

Most people will be able to be cared for and recover at home. You might be treated over the phone (via phone call or video call) by a health worker, a doctor, or a hospital staff member.

If your symptoms start to get worse, call your health worker or doctor quickly. Don’t delay. If you get worse, you might need to be moved to a hospital some distance away.

Your health service will talk to you about, and decide on, the best place for you to be cared for based on where you are and your health needs. Like many Queenslanders, you may be well enough to stay at home or be cared for in a facility close to your home.

You should call Triple Zero (000) if your symptoms are life threatening or they get significantly worse (e.g. if it is hard to breathe). This is important if you live in a rural or remote area where it might take longer for you to get the help you need.

Tell the operator you have COVID-19.

More information

Read more about getting COVID-ready by visiting Get COVID-Ready.

Find out the first steps you should take if you have COVID-19.

Find out how to isolate and the support that is available.

If you need COVID-19 support, find out where to get help.