Coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses that cause a variety of illnesses from the common cold to severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Recently, a new kind of coronavirus, known as ‘Covid-19’, was identified as the cause of various cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Covid-19 is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans, and it has become a concern because the origin and the exact conditions of its spreading are still unknown. Source: Medical Solutions
Symptoms of coronavirus
According to the HSE, it can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to show.
These symptoms may include:
- a cough
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
- fever (high temperature)
Coronavirus can also cause more severe illness including:
- severe acute respiratory syndrome
- kidney failure
Risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland
The risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland is still low. This may change. However, most people may continue to go to work, school and other public places, as usual.
How coronavirus may be spread
Coronavirus is spread in the droplets produced when a person who has the virus coughs or sneezes.
It can spread if you:
- come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing
- touch surfaces that someone with the virus has coughed or sneezed on.
Because it is a new illness, it is not yet known how easily the virus spreads from person to person. Source: HSE
What does ‘close contact’ mean?
- face-to-face contact.
- spending more than 15 minutes within 2 meters of an infected person.
- living in the same house as an infected person.
What to do if you think you have been in close contact?
- isolate yourself from other people.
- phone your GP, or emergency department – if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999.
Things you can do to protect yourself from getting coronavirus include:
- wash your hands properly and regularly.
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze.
- There is currently no vaccine to treat or protect against coronavirus.
Treatment for coronavirus
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. But many of the symptoms of the virus can be treated. If you have the virus, your healthcare professional will advise treatment based on your symptoms.
Self-isolation means staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people. You should self-isolate if you think you may have coronavirus while you are waiting to talk to a doctor. This will help to prevent the spread of coronavirus to others.
- Stay at home or in your hotel in a room on your own with a phone.
- Do not go to work, school, religious services or public areas.
- Do not use public transport or taxis.
- Avoid having visitors to your home.
It is important to keep away from older people, those with long-term medical conditions or pregnant women.
Advice for people planning to travel
The situation in a number of countries is changing on a daily basis. Please keep yourself up to date on the situation in the country you intend to travel to and follow the travel advice issued by the department of foreign affairs https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice.
Important note: Check this regularly as it may change quite quickly as the situation unfolds. For more information visit: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus.html