Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by SARS coronavirus a virus closely related to the SARS virus.
The disease is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. People who get the disease might get fever, dry cough, fatigue (tiredness), loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath. A sore throat, runny nose, or sneezing is less common. In some cases, people might wheeze, have difficulty breathing, or not be hungry. Some infected people are asymptomatic carriers, which means that they spread the virus without anybody knowing they’re sick.
Covid-19 is spread by:
Direct contact such as by touching each other.
Indirect contact such as by touching contaminated objects or surfaces. When people with the virus sneeze, cough or touch surfaces, they may leave infected droplets on these surfaces. The virus can survive on these surfaces for several hours to a few days.
Close contact through the mouth or nose secretions of infected people.
Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling droplets that contain the virus.
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from this coronavirus and others is to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water. And if you can’t get to a sink, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. As the illness is thought to spread from person to person, experts advise washing hands, avoiding close contact with others, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when
you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
• wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going
to the toilet
• cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
• avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people)
• you must stay at home if you are unwell
• exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures
For all the latest information around Covid-19 please visit the Queensland Health website or contact the Coronavirus hotline on: 13 42 68.