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“The fight against rumours and misinformation is a vital part of the battle against this virus.” – World Health Organisation’s Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

According to the World Health Organisation, "Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. A novel coronavirus (nCoV [COVID-19]) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans".

How does COVID-19 spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, from sneezing or coughing. This means that the virus can spread from touching surfaces and then your nose or mouth as well as by breathing these droplets in.

Should I be worried about catching COVID-19? The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued the following information: “Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care".Although it is understandable to be concerned for ourselves and our loved ones, it is important to focus on actions that we can control; to protect ourselves and ensure we are up-to-date with the most relevant and accurate information released by the World Health Organisation. Symptoms, prevention and support

The most common symptoms in patients with COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. In addition, some patients may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and/or diarrhoea. Here are a few basic hygiene practices that can help protect you against contracting the virus:

- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

- Wash your hands especially after coughing and sneezing, before and after caring for an ill person, and before preparing foods and eating.

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

- Avoid close contact (such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils) with people who are sick.

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

- Stay home when you are sick, except when you need to get medical care.

- Wash hands after animal contact and after visiting farms, markets, barns, petting zoos, and agricultural fairs.

- Avoid contact with animals who are sick.

- Do not use public transportation if you are symptomatic.

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