The new coronavirus (COVID-19) belongs to the same family as the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. People with COVID-19 have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing when it affects their lungs and causes pneumonia.

There is no vaccine against the virus available yet nor is there any specific treatment for the infection. Symptoms may vary from only mild to more severe, depending on the overall health of the person. Older people or those with more serious health problems such as cancer, lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, HIV/Aids and renal failure may experience breathing difficulties or develop pneumonia and will require intensive care. Fortunately, the virus has a high recovery rate.

How COVID-19 spreads
The virus is spread mainly from person to person

  • An infected person can spread the virus to others through close contact. It is recommended to keep a distance of approximately 1,5 m from a person displaying symptoms of the virus.
  • The virus is spread through droplets when an infected person coughs and sneezes.

Spread from contact with infected objects and surfaces
It is also possible that COVID-19 can spread through touching an object or surface containing the virus (such as a door handle or telephone) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

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