The Malawi Government through the Ministry of Health and Population would like to bring to the attention of the general public that there is a global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID - 19). The disease has its origin in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in the People's The Republic of China.
What is Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID 19)?
COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease this means it can be transmitted from animals to humans. It is caused by a type of newly identified coronavirus called SARS – COV-2. There are several known coronaviruses circulating in animals that are not yet known to infect humans. Coronaviruses can cause the common cold and more severe illness in humans include SARS-CoV (causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - SARS) and MERS-CoV (causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - MERS).
How is it transmitted?
- It is transmitted from people who have the virus through:
i. Direct contact with droplets through exhaling, coughing or sneezing and body fluids (like blood, sweat, saliva and vomits) from a person infected with SARS – COV 2.
ii. Using clothes, beddings, skin piercing instruments that have been used by an infected person.
- People can also get infected with COVID-19 from objects and surfaces which have been infected, when people touch these objects and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
How long does it take for one to become sick?
The incubation period (the period from infection to onset of symptoms) is about 14 days. The infected person can transmit the disease to another person even if they have not started to show symptoms. But the risk of getting the infection from someone who is not infected is low.
What are the signs and symptoms of Coronavirus?
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. However, some patients have muscle aches, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, and or diarrhoea. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment and others become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.
- People with cough, difficulty breathing, and or fever should seek medical attention urgently.
Is there a severe form of the disease?
- Roughly 1 out of every 6 people infected with SARS - COV 2 becomes seriously ill.
- Severe disease is among older people, and those with underlying medical problems such as chronic respiratory conditions, heart problems or diabetes and other causes of low immunity.
What shall I do if I am sick with any respiratory illness?
To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others:
- Stay home when you are sick, and if you experience severe symptoms, seek medical attention by calling toll free number 54747
- When coughing or sneezing cover your mouth with a flexed elbow or tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Avoid close contact with others
Produced by Health Education Services of the Ministry of HealthHow are you feeling in COVID-19 times?