COVID-19 is a strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses causing illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and humans.
How is it spread?
COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. These droplets can be inhaled if you are in close contact with an infected person. Touching objects or surfaces with respiratory droplets on them and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes can also spread the virus. The time between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms is between 5 and 14 days, so the appropriate quarantine period for an individual exposed to COVID-19 is 14 days.
What are the symptoms?
Fever over 38°C
Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
Other symptoms may include
Severe infection can be fatal.
Who is most at risk?
People with underlying and chronic health conditions, eg. heart/respiratory disease
Though these populations are most at risk, people outside these groups can also be infected.
How is it treated?
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Care is focused on managing the symptoms by making sure the patient gets lots of rest, drinks plenty of fluids, and treats their fever.
Prevention is key
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with minimum 60% alcohol (note: hand sanitizer is not effective if hands are visibly dirtied)
Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and/or sneeze or cough into a tissue
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory llness such as coughing or sneezing
Keep surfaces clean and disinfected, especially ones that are shared or frequently touched, such as phones, computers, copiers, lunch tables, and shared desks
Stay home if you are sick. Do not use public transportation or taxis. Do not go to work, school, or other public places
If you have symptoms, avoid travel, particularly flying, and seek medical attention as soon as possible