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Understanding Coronavirus

Learn more about the COVID-19 virus, the symptoms and expert advise on how to help prevent its spread

What is Coronavirus

According to the World Health Organization[i], Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) 

What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.  It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, while other viruses are less so. Investigations are ongoing to better understand the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, but there are indications that person-to-person spread is occurring[ii]. 

Know the Coronavirus Symptoms

According World Health Organization [iii], COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization. 

Most common symptoms:

  • fever.
  • dry cough.
  • tiredness.

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains. 
  • sore throat. 
  • diarrhoea. 
  • conjunctivitis. 
  • headache. 
  • loss of taste or smell. 
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes. 

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. 
  • chest pain or pressure. 
  • loss of speech or movement. 
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How to help protect from the Coronavirus

The best way to protect yourself is avoid being exposed to the virus. The WHO recommends[v] to do the following: 

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub. 
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing. 
  • Avoid touching your face. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. 
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs. 
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people. 

References:

[i] https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

[ii] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

[iii] https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_3

[iv] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/ transmission.html

[v] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

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