Coronavirus refers to a family of viruses that can make people ill. They are called
coronaviruses because when you look at them under a microscope they appear to have a
crown. These viruses have existed for many years, but “Novel Coronavirus 2019” is a new
type of coronavirus we have not seen before.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for Corona, ‘VI’ stands
for Virus, ‘D’ stands for Disease, and ‘19’ stands for 2019 as this is when the disease started
Coronavirus cannot jump very far on its own, and so travels in different ways:
- It can travel from one person’s hand to another when people touch. So, it is
important to wash your hands properly and often!
- It can travel in the drops of saliva that jump when we cough, talk or sneeze. So, if you
see someone coughing or sneezing it is better to stay away from them! It is also
important to cough or sneeze into your elbow so that you don’t make someone else
- It can sit waiting on furniture that someone with the virus touched, and then move
to the next person that touches that furniture. So it is important to clean surfaces
that are touched often.
You may have a cough, fever, sore throat, changes in the way you taste or smell, or
shortness of breath.
For most people you might feel a bit sick, like when you have a cold. But after a few days
you will feel better.
Some people who get COVID-19 may need some oxygen to help them breathe and will have
to be taken to hospital.
A small percentage of people who get COVID-19 die from it. The people at greatest risk are
those older than 65 years, and those with other conditions like hypertension (high blood
pressure), diabetes (sugar sickness) and asthma. So, it is very important to take your
treatment every day and visit your doctor/ nurse if you aren't feeling well.
If you have symptoms, the most important thing to do is to wear your face mask, avoid other people, and tell someone. You can attend your local clinic for assessment and treatment, or you can call the NICD General Public Hotline on 0800 029 999 – it operates 24 hours a day!
If you are told that you have coronavirus it is important for you to keep yourself and others safe.
Some ways that you can do this:
- Wear your face mask
- Wash your hands and clean any surfaces that you touch often
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow so that you don’t spread any germs
- Try and stay away from others for 14 days since you became ill
- Watch your symptoms and if you think you are getting worse, please seek help!