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Coronavirus FAQs

What is coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of this new virus?

The symptoms of this new coronavirus (COVID-19) include cough, fever, shortness of breath, or flu-like symptoms.

How does this new coronavirus spread?

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets. These droplets fall on people in the vicinity and can be directly inhaled or picked up on the hands and transferred when someone touches their face.

How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors; for example:

  • what surface the virus is on
  • whether it is exposed to sunlight
  • differences in temperature and humidity
  • exposure to cleaning products

Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours.

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel
     
  • wash your hands more often than usual- for 20 seconds each time with soap and water or hand sanitiser, especially when you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Where can I find the latest health advice and information?

Advice about coronavirus is being updated daily. Please visit this page for the most up to date information.