Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019.
What are some of the symptoms associated with infection?
Coronavirus symptoms are similar to that of a common cold and include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days. Patients have also experienced a mild cough for a week, a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness followed by shortness of breath (leading to pneumonia or bronchitis)
Can you prevent infection?
The safest way to prevent yourself from contracting it or minimising the extent of the infection is to:
- Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap
- Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze
- Practice social distancing
- Self-quarantine if you have travelled
- Stay home if you are sick
- Boost your immune system by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
Myth-busters & Facts
People of all ages can be infected by COVID-19. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever because of infection with the new coronavirus. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever.
No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth).
No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the new coronavirus. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus. However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care.
Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.