WHAT IS A CORONAVIRUS

WHAT IS A CORONAVIRUS

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

WHAT IS A COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus (“CO” stands for corona; “VI” for virus; “19” the year in which it appeared). This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and even death.

IS THERE A VACCINE, DRUG OR TREATMENT FOR COVID-19?

Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation.

WHO IS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING SEVERE ILLNESS?

While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF AND PREVENT THE SPREAD OF DISEASE?

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcoholbased hand rub or wash them with soap and water, because these actions kill viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Keep a safe distance of at least 1 metre (3 feet) from people. The virus is contained in saliva droplets and can be transmitted by breathing at close range, particularly when they cough, sneeze or have a fever.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, because hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Avoid shaking hands and hugging, for the reasons mentioned above. Stay at home as much as possible, following the rules indicated by the authorities. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. This will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

All the measures included in the present leaflet follow what established by the world health organization (WHO)

Albanian version of the brochure HERE.

Prepared by: IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean