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How well do you know the novel Coronavirus?

COVID -19 spreads very quickly from a person, who has contracted the disease to others, through:

  • the air, after coughing or sneezing
  • close personal contact, such as; shaking hands or touching others
  • touching an object or surface on which the virus is found, before washing the hands – touching the
  • mouth, nose, or eyes
  • rarely, faecal contamination.

People who have contracted the novel Coronavirus may take anywhere from one to 14 days to develop symptoms. There is no medication available to combat the virus during the asymptomatic phase. Symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus infection include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Doctors can only treat the symptoms of COVID-19 as they present. No specific therapy has been shown to be effective against the virus itself.

If you feel ill and have any of the symptoms of infection with COVID-19 you must seek medical care early and share your previous travel history with your healthcare provider.

Prevent the spread of viruses with these simple steps. These simple, powerful habits, provide protection against Coronaviruses, flu viruses and many other pathogens that are common in South Africa and abroad. Stay informed.

  • Wash your hands often, especially after direct contact with people who are ill, or after being in environments where sick people are cared for, like hospitals.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have acute respiratory tract infections.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice cough etiquette – when you cough, maintain your distance from others. Cover your mouth and nose with clothing, or with a flexed elbow or a tissue (discard it immediately) and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid cross-contamination with other uncooked foods.
  • Do not eat the meat that comes from animals that have died of diseases. Stay safe and healthy.

Stay safe and healthy

Visit the NICD website at for further information. For medical/clinical related queries by health care professionals only, contact the NICD Hotline +27 (0) 82 883 9920 (for use by healthcare professionals only). For laboratory-related queries call the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis (011-555- 0315/7/8 or 011-555-0488).

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