COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth and can spread from person-to-person when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. Droplets may land on objects or surfaces around an infected person and others may catch COVID-19 when touching objects or surfaces, followed by touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
It is possible for the virus to spread before exhibiting symptoms, however people are most contagious when they are symptomatic.
The symptoms and complications of confirmed COVID-19 cases have ranged from mild sickness to severely ill and dying. Symptoms may include:
Based on symptoms associated with similar family viruses, like MERS-CoV, it is believed that symptoms of COVID-19 may occur as quickly as 2 days up to 14 days after exposure.
In addition, if you have traveled to a country with confirmed cases and showing signs and symptoms, notify a healthcare professional immediately or call 114.
Protection measures for those who have recently visited, past 14 days, areas where COVID-19 is confirmed and spreading
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect to have symptoms of COVID-19, follow the steps below to prevent the spread in your home and community.
If you believe you have had close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19 or someone who is being evaluated for COVID-19, the following precautions should be taken:
Anyone who lives in affected areas or who has been in contact with travelers from affected areas is at risk. However, older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and diabetes, and cancer are at higher risk. For those at higher risk for COVID-19, it is important to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick.
Diagnostic testing is currently being conducted in public health laboratories with a test kit.
If you develop symptoms including fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread, stay home and contact your nearest health facility or call our toll-free number 114. A healthcare professional will determine if you have signs and symptoms COVID-10 and whether you should be tested.
There is no vaccine and no medicine currently available to prevent or treat COVID-19. Those affected are treated with supportive care to relieve symptoms.
If you are experiencing any signs and symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Content sources: CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO World Health Organization, March 2020