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What is a coronavirus? - Posted: Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 10:59 am
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019. There is lots of information on radio, television, and websites. We will provide a brief sketch here on MyDidsbury.

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. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak in China.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

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

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.

For most people in most locations the risk of catching COVID-19 is still low.

There is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

[Source: World Health Organization]

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