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What arecoronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that causes a range of illnesses from the common cold to more serious infections. Last December 2019, a clustering of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology in Wuhan, China was reported. The outbreak was later determined to be caused by a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. 

How do COVID-19spreads?

COVID-19is transmitted from person-to-person via contact or droplets. It is transmittedwhen one individual coughs, talks, or sneezes. These droplets are then inhaledby another person. The transmission usually occurs among close contacts. It istherefore important to maintain a distance of more than 1 meter away from any personwho has respiratory symptoms. 

What arethe signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

The mostcommon symptoms of COVID-19 are tiredness, fever, and dry cough. Few patientsexperience pains, aches, runny nose, nasal congestion, diarrhea, or sorethroat. Patients frequently have mild symptoms that start slowly. Without theneed for any special treatment, most patients recover. Some people becomeinfected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. 

What todo to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

  • Practice frequent and proper handwashing. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 
  • Practice proper cough etiquette. Cover your nose and mouth using tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. You may also move away from people if you will cough. Throw away used tissues properly and wash your hands properly after. 
  • Maintain distance for at least 1 meter away from other people. 
  • Avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals, animal markets, and products that come from animals. 
  • Make sure that your food is well-cooked. 

Can COVID-19be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The riskof getting COVID-19 from a person without any signs and symptoms is very low.COVID-19 is only spread by an infected person through respiratory droplet whocoughed. If an infected person does not cough or sneeze, it will not mostlikely to spread the virus.   

COVID-19could be fatal, but this happens rarely. Older people, people with compromisedimmune systems, and people with a pre-existing medical condition are more proneto fall severely ill with the virus. 

Is the COVID-19cause more severe disease than seasonal influenza?

COVID-19causes more severe disease than seasonal influenza. While many people globallyhave built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus towhich one has immunity. That means more people are susceptible to infection andsome will suffer severe disease. 

Is itsafe to receive packages from China?

Yes, itis. From what we knew about the coronavirus disease so far is they don’tsurvive long on objects. As such, receiving packages from China does not pose arisk of contracting the virus to the recipient. If there is a doubt, you may disinfectyour package outside of your house/office and wash your hands properlyafter.