What is a Coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 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).
The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
- Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia.
- Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly.
- There is evidence that it spreads from person to person.
- The incubation period of COVID-19 is between two and 14 days.
- Common signs of infection include a cough, difficulty in breathing and a fever.
- Good hygiene can prevent infection.
- Find out more from the World Health Organisation website.
- Find out more from the Australia Government Department of Health's 'What you need to know'.
What can you do?
Make sure you remain up to date with the current advice from the Australian Government Department of Health information website, as the situation is changing constantly.
There are basic, but effective, ways to help prevent the infection’s spread including:
- Making sure your environment is clean and hygienic.
- Promoting regular and thorough hand-washing by everyone.
- Providing everyone with disinfectant wipes or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Encouraging people to use and bin tissues.
- Encourage coughing into an elbow or shoulder and not hands.
- Using social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine.