Patient Education Resources
About Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel coronavirus now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  It was initially reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency. [2, 3]
Illness caused by SARS-CoV-2 was recently termed COVID-19 by the WHO, the new acronym derived from "coronavirus disease 2019." The name was chosen to avoid stigmatizing the virus's origins in terms of populations, geography, or animal associations. [4, 5] On February 11, 2020, the Coronavirus Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses issued a statement announcing an official designation for the novel virus: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). 
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
About Coronavirus disease 2019
Coronavirus is the name for a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS.
The new disease that emerged in China in December has never been seen in humans before the current outbreak.
It's been called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by the World Health Organisation and causes an illness that's been named Covid-19.
The new strain is thought to have jumped from bats to humans, via a possible but unknown animal, in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
As Covid-19 is a new virus, experts are still working to understand it.
However, health officials say the most common symptoms of coronavirus infection usually include:
A high temperature
Shortness of breath
Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea - but these are usually mild and begin gradually.
Developing these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the illness and they are similar to other illnesses, such as the common cold or flu.
Some people will not develop all of these symptoms - and some might not even show symptoms at all, experts say.
How can I protect myself?
The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene, health experts say.
In order to reduce your risk of infection, you should:
Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.
You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.