What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?



Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease outbreak is named COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

How is this coronavirus spread?

The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

Most infections are only transmitted by people when they have symptoms. These can include fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness and shortness of breath.

While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.

Also read:

What do I do if I develop symptoms of coronavirus?

How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?


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