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Protection and Prevention - Information on COVID-19

With the current coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to have the facts and use the information to properly protect your family and prevent the spread of the disease.

What is a coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in animals or humans. Coronaviruses affecting humans are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

What is COVID-19?

The WHO describes COVID-19 as the most recently discovered coronavirus. COVID-19 was unknown before the outbreak that started in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

How serious is COVID-19?

The WHO states that about 80% of people with COVID-19 recover without needing special treatment. They state that 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 become seriously ill. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions (high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes) are more likely to develop serious illness.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

According to the WHO, it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. Studies do however suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. 

How to protect yourself from COVID-19. 

The WHO provides the following tips to reduce the chances of being infected by COVID-19:

• Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
• Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
• Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
• Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.