COVID 19 – Novel Coronavirus

What is it?

A coronavirus is a large group of viruses that cause illness in animals and humans. In people, coronaviruses can cause illnesses ranging in severity from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This new coronavirus is now known as COVID 19 and has similar symptoms to SARS and MERS. The virus has been known to spread not only from animals to people, but is now spreading at an increased rate from person-to-person. More than 68000 cases have been diagnosed and as of February 16, 2020, the death toll was 1665. However, the number of new cases of the virus has dropped.

Symptoms include:

• Runny Nose

• Headache

• Cough

• Sore Throat

• Breathing difficulties

• Fever

• Vomiting

• In some cases diarrhoea


In advanced cases: Respiratory failure and kidney failure.

People with a weakened immune system (the elderly or very young) are more prone to develop a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.

What to do?

• Wash your hands often with soap under running water

• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick

• Wash and prepare food carefully

If you are mildly sick, keep yourself hydrated, stay at home, and rest. If you are concerned about your symptoms, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Make sure that you speak to your doctor before going in so that they can be aware of your symptoms and so that the necessary precautions can be taken.

How is it transmitted?

• Direct contact with infected patients

• Droplets from patient's coughing and sneezing

• Contact with patient's belongings, followed by touching your nose, eyes or mouth without washing your hands

There is not yet an antidote for this new COVID 19 virus, however, the spread of this virus can be minimised by obeying basic laws of hygiene and quarantine.

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