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2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS CoV-2), also known as COVID-19: What You Need To Know

What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS CoV- 2) or COVID-19?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS CoV- 2), also known as COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Amid the rising spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus outbreak a public health emergency or pandemic.

What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some patients may have reported having aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

Additionally, some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms or feel unwell.  It is estimated that most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. About 1 in 6 people become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing call your healthcare professional to seek medical attention immediately.

How does it spread?
COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth or by breathing in droplets from a person with COVID-19. That’s why it is important to practice social distancing and stay three to six feet (1-2 meters) away from a person who is or may be sick. 

Learn more from the World Health Organization (WHO).