Source : WHO
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in humans or animals. In humans, many coronaviruses have been known to cause respiratory ailments which range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The recently discovered coronavirus triggers coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease triggered by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. These symptoms are often mild and start gradually. Some people today become infected but do not develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Many people (about 80 percent ) recover from the disease without having special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 gets severely ill and create difficulty breathing. Older people, and people with underlying medical issues like hypertension, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
How does COVID-19 spread?
people are able to grab COVID-19 from others having the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the mouth or nose which are spread when a person who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then grab COVID-19 by touching these surfaces or objects, then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. People may also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets by a person with COVID-19 who coughs outside or exhales droplets. That is the reason why it is very important to remain more than one meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
WHO is assessing ongoing study on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
Can the coronavirus be transmitted through the air?
By who Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets instead of through the air.
Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone without any symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true in the first stages of this illness. It is thus feasible to grab COVID-19 from somebody who has, for example, only a mild cough and doesn’t feel sick.
Can I catch COVID-19 from the feces of someone with the disease?
The risk of catching COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person appears to be low. While initial investigations suggest the virus may be found in feces in some cases, spread through this route is not a principal characteristic of the outbreak. WHO is assessing continuing research on how COVID-19 is spread and will continue to discuss new findings. As this is a risk, however, it is another reason to clean hands regularly, after the toilet and before eating.
What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease?
Protection measures for everyone
Stay aware of the most recent information about the COVID-19 outbreak, through your local and national public health authority and on the WHO site. Nations around the globe have observed instances of COVID-19 and many have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. The problem is inconsistent so check regularly for the most recent news.
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand wash or scrub them with soap and water. Why? Using alcohol-based hand rub or washing your hands with warm water and soap kills viruses that may be on your palms.
- Keep at least 1 meter (3 feet) space between yourself and anyone who’s coughing or sneezing. Why? Whenever someone coughs or sneezes they spray small droplets. If you are too close, you are able to breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading
- Follow the guidance outlined above.
- Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (37.3 C or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people.
Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
- If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.