What is a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several Coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is the most recent discovered Coronavirus infection first recorded on 31st December 2019.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered Coronavirus. Until December 2019, the virus and disease was not known in humans. The first outbreak was in Wuhan, China.
[Info-graphic] Coronavirus Updates (COVID-19)
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- Dry cough
- Aches and pains
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 spreads from humans to humans and people catch the virus from those who have it. This happens through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.
The droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person who coughs or exhales. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
For this you must stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, it is true that at the early stages of COVID-19, many people experience mild symptoms and it is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.
Can the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spread through air?
To date, studies show that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
Measures to Prevent catching COVID-19?
There is a lot of advice online about preventing COVID –19, however, there are medically proven measures set by the World Health Organization. Here are the simple precautions to take in order to reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19:
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth. If the person is sick, then the droplets contain the virus which can infect you as you breathe in the droplets if you are too close.
- Avoid (DO NOT) touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Touching your eyes, nose and mouth transfers the virus that your hands might have picked from surfaces with droplets. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Follow respiratory hygiene. Make sure that you and the people around you follow good respiratory hygiene.
How? Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. After use, dispose the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets from sneezing or coughing spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
- Keep up to date on the latest COVID–19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places-especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
Note: These protection measures are for all persons everywhere in the world as outlined by the World Health Organization