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What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.


The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.  

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available. (copy from the WHO)



This is the amount of time we know that coronavirus can survive and remain infectious in airborne droplets, but we don't know if humans produce enough in a single cough to infect another person.

This is the amount of time it took for researchers to find no more viable traces of the virus on cardboard. This is also a good guide for other porous surfaces like fabric and paper.

Porous surfaces are much less likely to hold viable amounts of the virus.

This is the amount of time coronavirus can stay active on hard, shiny surfaces. Think things like play equipment, door and public transport handles and your phone. Ie: Glass, worktops, plastic and steel.

The virus does degrade over time but you should avoid touching these surfaces in shared spaces, and if you can't do that, avoid touching your face afterwards before thoroughly washing your hands.

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