What is the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus belongs to a large family of viruses that are known to cause diseases including the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in humans.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a Coronavirus which was initially identified in China. The virus is contagious and spreads via aerosol droplets from coughing and sneezing. It affects the lungs and airways and symptoms include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Many people who are infected will experience mild to moderate symptoms and will recover in the absence of any significant treatment. However it is imperative that transmission of Covid-19 is impeded as those with underlying medical conditions, decreased immunity and older people are more likely to develop severe symptoms and illness.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

The risk of infection can be reduced by the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser.
  • Do not cover your mouth and nose with your hands if you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or your sleeve instead, dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands after.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands are not clean
  • If you develop any symptoms and start to feel unwell stay at home even if your symptoms are mild.
  • Seek medical advice if you develop a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing,

What is social distancing and why is it so important?

Social distancing is a simple and practical way to limit contact between people in order to avoid exposure and prevent the spread of infection.

Covid-19 is spread by aerosol droplets from coughing and sneezing. It has an incubation period of up to 14 days which means that you can carry the virus but not show symptoms straight away. You can reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 by keeping a distance of 6 feet or 2 metres away from people. People are encouraged to work from home, to avoid crowds and public areas and to stay at home as much as possible.

It is crucial that we practise social distancing to prevent spread to people who have decreased immunity and may be more severely affected. Diabetes, cancer and respiratory diseases are a few conditions which will compromise immunity. If we all practice social distancing, we can prevent the spread of Covid-19 and get back to our normal routine as soon as possible.

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