Coronavirus COVID-19

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Sheralyn Tay
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2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus first identified in Wuhan, China. The new coronavirus is responsible for an outbreak of respiratory illness that has since spread internationally.

On 30 January 2020 – against rising infection numbers – the World Health Organization officially declared the virus a public-health emergency of international concern. The WHO, global experts and governments are currently working to understand this new virus and gain a better understanding of its origins, transmission and virulence to tackle and prevent the spread of this outbreak.

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

The symptoms of a flu and COVID-19 are similar and the only way to tell is with a laboratory-based test. There is currently no specific antiviral treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Those with COVID-19 will receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. In severe cases, treatment may include care to support vital organ functions. Symptoms for COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath


The best way to prevent COVID-19 infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus, which is transmitted through contact with infected droplets. This is why personal hygiene and social responsibility is critical in preventing its spread.

  • Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness
  • Observe good personal hygien
  • Practise frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing)
  • Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately Seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.

The information provided in this article is meant purely for general information purposes only and may not be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. The views, information or opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the writer and the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect those of, and are not endorsed by, Camden Medical Centre.