Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) also called 2019-nCov, is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans.
The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.
How it spreads
The new coronavirus spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is characterized by mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. Illness can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
You can reduce your risk of infection if you:
- Clean hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow
- Avoid close contact (1 metre or 3 feet) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
Consult a doctor for medical advice
There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). People may need supportive care to help them breathe.
If you develop a fever, cough, and have difficulty breathing, promptly seek medical care. Call in advance and tell your health provider of any recent travel or recent contact with travellers.
If you have mild symptoms, stay at home until you’ve recovered. You can relieve your symptoms if you:
- Rest and sleep
- Keep warm
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
Source: World Health Organization