What is coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.
In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Symptoms of coronavirus
Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment. Such symptoms include:
- dry cough
Some patients may also have:
- aches and pains
- nasal congestion
- runny nose
- sore throat
How coronavirus is spread
The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, and quickly fall on floors or surfaces.
You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth.
How to prevent coronavirus
Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection.
Such steps include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
- Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.
- Keep social distance – maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other.
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