IOPSA has published a detailed health and safety pamphlet on coronavirus and how to deal with it as an artisan. Click here for the full pamphlet.

Image credit: ABC News

Image credit: ABC News

Coronaviruses 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) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.

What is COVID-19?

A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

How can you get COVID-19?

Since this novel coronavirus was only recently identified, there is currently limited information regarding the modes of transmission, clinical features and severity of disease. Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
  • Faecal contamination.

What are the signs and symptoms?

There is limited information regarding clinical features, and severity of disease at this stage. For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath.

Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.