Everything you (might) need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19). This article is referenced through the Australian Government websites and kept up to date daily.
What is the novel coronavirus disease and is it the same as COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick. They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases. Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick quickly. People with coronavirus (COVID-19) may experience:
- Flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
How does the virus spread?
There is evidence the virus spreads from person-to-person. The virus is most likely spread through:
- Close contact with an infectious person
- Contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
- Touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person and then touching your mouth or face
How can I help prevent the spread of infection?
Everyone should practice good hygiene to protect against possible infections. Good hygiene includes:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water
- Using a tissue and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching
What should you do if you develop any symptoms?
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you must contact your GP or hospital before you arrive and tell them of your symptoms, travel history and whether you may have been in close contact with a potential case of coronavirus (COVID-19).
What are the health risks of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. For more information on risks, click here.
Is there a treatment for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses and coronavirus (COVID-19) specifically. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
Should you wear a face mask?
You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like coronavirus.
Is it still safe to travel?
All overseas travel is currently banned with a few exceptions. For more information, click here.
What are the high-risk countries?
The Australian Government has provided a list of countries and regions which are considered by Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) to pose a risk of transmission to travellers arriving in Australia, you can find this here.
How long is the self-isolation period for coronavirus COVID-19?
The Australian Government has put a 14-day isolation period in place for people at risk of coronavirus. Find out more here.