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About Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus? What are the symptoms? Read all about COVID-19 here.

Information current as at 20 March 2020

Find out the facts about Coronavirus

Source: Australian Department of Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. 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.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough

Some people who are ill may have:

  • Tiredness
  • Aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhoea (this is rare)

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. However, isolation and other social distancing requirements may need to be implemented.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing.

Should I worry about COVID-19?

​Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care.

It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.

First and foremost among these actions, is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.

The World Health Organisation has produced a video which explains the virus, where it came from, what it does, how it’s transmitted, what the symptoms are, and how we can prevent infection. This information sheet from the Australian Department of Health also has useful information.