Coronavirus (COVID-19): A Snapshot
What is Coronavirus?
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.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
Signs and Symptoms
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include:
Regular hand washing before and following meals, after visits to the toilet, when dirty or when in contact with surfaces that are regularly used by others (escalator hand rails, public door handles, phone receivers etc).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or when on the go, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching.
Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Staying fit and healthy through regular exercise and a good diet is also recommended.
At the time of writing (05 March 2020), there is currently no known vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
If you become unwell and think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, seek medical attention. Call ahead of time to book an appointment. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, travel history and any recent close contact with someone who has coronavirus.
If you must leave home to see your doctor, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others. If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it spreading to other people.
Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly.
This information is correct at 05 March 2020, though the situation can evolve rapidly. It is important that you keep up to date.
Further information regarding prevention, isolation and travel can be found at:
Smart Traveller website
Department of Home Affairs
Federal Department of Health
NSW Department of Health
Information detailed within this brief was gained through sourcing state and federal government material. Whilst every effort is made to ensure up-to-date product, advice and information contained in this advisory is subject to change as situations develop. This information does not constitute or replace medical and health advice from health professionals and is correct as at 07 March 2020.
Whilst reliable sources are utilised for the aggregation of information, inclusion of such material is not confirmation of its credibility nor does it imply the official view or endorsement of Montane Protective Security.