About novel coronavirus
COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The novel coronavirus is closely related to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus and in the same family as MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) coronavirus.
The virus is most likely spread through:
close contact with an infectious person
contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face
The most common symptom is a fever. Other symptoms include cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress, however there is a spectrum of disease. It is unknown at this stage how long symptoms take to present but most likely between two and 14 days.
Currently, the elderly, people with a chronic disease (such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure or people who are immunocompromised) may be at a higher risk of developing a serious case of COVID-19.
If you have recently travelled overseas, and have developed a fever or respiratory symptoms, use the healthdirect Symptom Checker to help you decide what to do next.