Student Fact Sheet: Information About Covid-19
What is a coronavirus and what is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory virus first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The majority of COVID-19 cases result in mild symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. However, it can lead to death, particularly in people who are older or who have suppressed immune systems or pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading around the world since December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a pandemic and Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appear;
close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes; and/or
touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
How can you help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. Specifically, you should:
sanitise or wash your hands before and after entering a home, preparing or eating food, going to the bathroom, touching your face or blowing your nose;
cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, dispose of tissues immediately into a bin, and wash your hands;
if you are unwell, stay at home and avoid contact with others; and
exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures by staying at least 1.5 metres away from people.
The Australian Government Department of Health has resources in English and other spoken languages.
The National Disability Insurance Agency has published information in Easy English.
In addition to detailed written information and videos, healthdirect provides a symptom checker to help you identify symptoms of COVID-19.
Australian Government Department of Health – www.health.gov.au