COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) has caused mass hysteria across Australia and the world. Families across the nation have been preparing for the end of the world, stockpiling non-perishable supplies (like toilet paper, tissues, and dry pasta) and leaving supermarket shelves bare.
There’s a lot of misinformation going around about COVID-19, so here’s what you need to know.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease (NOT a virus) which started from the virus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). The World Health Organisation officially named the coronavirus disease “COVID-19”, though many people have been using the term “Coronavirus” to describe the disease. Throughout this article, I’ll be referring to COVID-19 and Coronavirus synonymously.
The Australian Government’s Department of Health describes COVID-19 as “a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia.”
Coronavirus presents flu-like symptoms such as a cough, a sore throat, fatigue, fever, or shortness of breath.
The people most at risk of Coronavirus in Australia are:
- People who have been to mainland China or Iran, or
- People who have been in a close proximity to someone with a confirmed case of Coronavirus.
If you’re showing any of the above symptoms, please seek medical advice. Most people infected with COVID-19 experience mild illness and then recover. However, some people experience more severe symptoms which can lead to a serious illness or death.
How do you get Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is spread from person to person through small droplets which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.
To avoid catching COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are showing flu-like symptoms,
- Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze,
- Avoid touching your face where possible, and
- Wash your hands properly and consistently.
How many cases of Coronavirus are there in Australia?
As of March 4th, 5:11pm, there have been 42 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Australia.
From the 42 confirmed cases, 21 people have recovered completely, 20 people are currently infected, and one person has sadly died.
How many cases of Coronavirus are there around the world?
As of March 4th, there are approximately 93,191 confirmed cases of Coronavirus around the world.
39,012 people are currently infected with COVID-19, with 54,179 closed cases. From the closed cases, 50,976 people (94%) have recovered and 3,203 people (6%) have died.
86.1% of confirmed cases are from China, 5.7% are from South Korea, 2.7% are from Italy, and 2.5% are from Iran. The remaining 3% of cases are spread across 76 other countries, including Japan, France, Germany, USA, U.K., and Australia.
- There’s no need to stockpile products. The world isn’t ending. You won’t be quarantined or locked in your house without supplies. Please be considerate of the other people within your community.
- COVID-19 is not a reason to be racist or xenophobic.
- Medical professionals are being cautious to ensure that COVID-19 doesn’t spread—testing for Coronavirus is a precaution. If you’re showing any flu-like symptoms, please seek medical help.
- Being diagnosed with COVID-19 does not mean that you will die.
- COVID-19 and the Flu are different things—Flu medicine will not cure COVID-19.