Coronaviruses (CoV) 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-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. The COVID-19 virus officially reached South African shores on 5 March 2020 and was confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
On Sunday 15th March 2020, President Ramaphosa announced that the COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
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