coronavirus (covid-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can be pathogenic in humans and animals. It is known that in humans, several coronaviruses can cause respiratory infections ranging from the 


common cold to more serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The last coronavirus that was discovered is responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the last coronavirus that was discovered. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, fatigue, and a dry cough. Some patients experience pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are generally mild and appear gradually. Some people, although infected, have no symptoms and feel good. Most (around 80%) people recover without needing any special treatment. About one in six people with the disease have more severe symptoms, including dyspnea. Seniors and those with other health conditions (high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) are more likely to have severe symptoms. About 2% of sick people have died. Anyone who has a fever, coughs, and has trouble breathing should see a doctor.

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is transmitted by people with the virus. The disease can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled from the nose or mouth when a person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can be found on objects or surfaces around the person in question. You can then get COVID-19 if you touch these objects or surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. COVID-19 can also be acquired by inhaling droplets from a sick person who has just coughed or sneezed. That’s why it’s important to stay more than a meter from a sick person.

WHO is reviewing the ongoing research on how COVID-19 is spread and will continue to report the updated results.

Is the virus responsible for COVID-19 transmissible by air?

Studies to date suggest that the virus responsible for COVID-19 is primarily transmissible through contact with respiratory droplets, rather than by air. See response to the previous question, "How does COVID-19 spread?" "

Can you get COVID-19 from someone who has no symptoms?

The disease is mainly spread by respiratory droplets expelled by people who cough. The risk of getting COVID-19 from someone who has no symptoms is very low. However, many people have only mild symptoms. This is especially true in the early stages of the disease. It is, therefore, possible to contract COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, only a mild cough but who does not feel sick. WHO is reviewing the ongoing research on the transmission time of COVID-19 and will continue to report updated results.

Can I get COVID-19 through contact with a sick person's feces?

The risk of getting COVID-19 from contact with the feces of an infected person appears below. Initial investigations suggest that the virus may be present in the feces in some cases, but the outbreak does not spread mainly through this route. WHO is reviewing the ongoing research into how COVID-19 is spread and will continue to communicate the new results. However, as the risk exists, it is an additional reason to wash your hands regularly, after using the toilet and before eating.

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