WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been seen in humans until now and has caused viral pneumonia. It was first linked to Wuhan’s South China Seafood City market which is a wholesale market for seafood and live animals in December 2019.
The virus has now been detected in several areas throughout China, along with countries across Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa and Oceana.
WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT NAMES MEAN?
You may have noticed different names circulating which relate to the novel corona virus. Below we have listed some of the more common names and explained what they mean.
COVID-19- this is the name for the disease caused by the coronavirus. This is simply short for coronavirus disease 2019. The World Health Organization announced this name on the 11 February 2020.
SARS-CoV-2- severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2. This is the name of the virus, not the disease that results from it. The world Health Organization emphasizes that while the viruses are related, COVID-19 is different from the SARS outbreak of 2003.
Novel corona virus 2019 (nCoV-19)- this was initially used at the start of the outbreak. It refers to the virus which is a novel form of the coronavirus that was first seen in 2019.
Coronavirus- you may see or hear about the virus referred to just as the coronavirus. This is not inaccurate as it is a novel strain of a coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
People with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma and COPD) are more likely to become severely ill with the virus.
WHAT CAN I DO TO LIMIT MY RISK OF CATCHING COVID-19?
- Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands
- Try to avoid contact with people who are sick
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it in a bin and
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching surfaces that may be contaminated
PROPER HAND WASHING TECHNIQUE
- Wet your hands under running water
- apply soap
- rub hands together vigorously for at least 15 seconds.
- make sure you apply soap to all parts of your hands including the backs, between your fingers, fingertips, around and under your nails, thumbs and wrists
- thoroughly rinse your hands under running water
- turn off the tap with a paper towel to avoid recontaminating your hands and
- dry your hands with a disposable paper towel or hand dryer (do not touch the hand dryer).
PROPER ALCOHOL GEL (HAND SANITIZER) TECHNIQUE
- Apply one to two squirts of hand sanitizer to your hands
- rub all over your hands including: the backs, between your fingers, fingertips, around and under your nails, thumbs and wrists and
- allow the hand sanitizer to dry. This takes about 20-30 seconds.
SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT TRAVELLING?
Due to the changing nature of travel restrictions, please refer to the World Health Organization for updates.
As symptoms include fever and difficulty breathing, you are advised to speak with a doctor and to make them aware of your travel history if you experience these during or after travel.
Exit screening at international airports and ports in the affected areas may take place to prevent the disease from spreading.
For healthcare professionals see the ERS summary
If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19, please refer to our Q&A. If you do not find the answer to your question, you can contact us at email@example.com. We are receiving a large number of questions about COVID-19, so we are unable to respond directly to these emails. We will combine the questions that we receive, and these will be updated on the Q&A section of the website regularly.
COVID-19 materials produced by patient organisations
Pulmonale Hypertensie/ Dutch Pulmonary Hypertension Association