Symptoms of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and prevention measures

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The World Health Organization was alerted of several cases of a new novel virus in China as early as December 2019. On January 7, the WHO identified this new coronavirus as Covid-19. In this article, we will share the most common symptoms of the virus and what you can do to prevent getting sick.

By Dominic Schep

Added March 28, 2020 19:28 CET | Updated March 30, 2020 21:17 CET


Alert: If you suspect being infected by the coronavirus, please consult with your local authorities for medical advice. Stay inside at all times and try to maintain a social distance to others.

What is the coronavirus?

The coronavirus is an infectious disease that can be transferred from person to person. The virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or when a person who is infected sneezes or coughs. No vaccines or specific treatments for the Covid-19 coronavirus have been developed as of this time of writing.

According to the WHO, the Covid-19 virus will affect people in different ways and infected people will show different symptoms from time to time. Most people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and do not require any specific medical treatment in order to recover, but more vulnerable people require medical help.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

People who have been in contact with others who have been infected could not show any symptoms up until 14 days; the longest known incubation time as of now. You may also not be aware of having the Covid-19 virus, as a few of the symptoms are similar to those of a cold or the flu.

Some of the common symptoms of the Covid-19 virus are:

  • fever

  • dry cough and/or a sore throat

  • difficulty with breathing/shortness of breath

  • pneumonia in both lungs

  • tiredness

  • shortness of breath

  • pains and aches

Others will also have diarrhea, nausea or a runny nose. People who report one of these symptoms should stay inside and maintain a social distance to others. 

Warning: this list will be extended over time by authorities. We based these symptoms on all available information at the time of writing. Always consult with your doctor or authorities if you suspect having the Covid-19 virus.

Prevent getting sick

To prevent getting the Covid-19 virus, the WHO advises staying inside as much as possible and to maintain a distance to other people. In addition:

  • wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub

  • maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and others

  • avoid touching your face

  • cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing

People with a weaker immune system or with a chronic disease are more vulnerable to developing complications as a result of the virus. Also, people aged 70 or older should be more alert to these symptoms.

Always seek medical attention by contacting your local authorities. Only medical experts can diagnose you with the virus through laboratory tests.

Recovery of the Covid-19 virus

Most people will recover from the disease by themselves, but others require medical help. A flu vaccine will not protect against the Covid-19 coronavirus.

For the latest updates on the symptoms, please visit the website of the World Health Organization.


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