COVID-19: What You Need to Know

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. This novel coronavirus caused the outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, 2020.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. The most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.

Some patients may experience body aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets expelled from the nose or mouth when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. You can get infected by touching these objects or surfaces, and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. You can also catch COVID-19 if you breathe in these droplets.

What can I do to protect myself and prevent COVID-19 spread?

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Practice proper cough etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Should I worry about COVID-19?

Most people (about 80%) recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people (17%) who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Who are most at risk of serious illness?

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

When to seek medical care

People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Treatment aims to relieve symptoms and provide supportive care.


References: Accessed 13 March 2020 Accessed 13 March 2020


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