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What is COVID-19?

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?

Common symptoms
  • Fever over 38°C
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing

Other symptoms may include
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue

Severe infection can be fatal.

Who is most at risk?

  • Immunocompromised people
  • People with underlying and chronic health conditions, eg. heart/respiratory disease
  • Elderly people
Though these populations are most at risk, people outside these groups can also be infected.

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

If you have or may have COVID-19, follow the guidelines on preventing the spread of infection.