What is Coronavirus COVID-19?

Region: Ontario Answer # 7000

The World Health Organization (WHO) has explained what the Coronavirus is:

“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).

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

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.”

How long does it take to recover from Coronavirus?

The information about Coronavirus is being updated on a daily basis. As with other viruses, the recovery time varies from person-to-person depending on a number of variables, such as:

  • severity of the illness
  • health of the individual
  • age of the individual
  • care taken to rest, and so on.

What percentage of people who contract Coronavirus die?

Most people who contract Coronavirus are recovering. The percentage of those who have died ranges from about 1-3 percent. The likelihood of death increases in people with respiratory illness, compromised immune systems and the elderly. Also, the availability of medical assistance can determine whether a person will survive.

Currently, governments around the world are taking measures to reduce the rapid spread of Coronavirus. Government policies and measures are changing hourly.

For the latest information, visit Health Canada, your Provincial Ministry of Health, and our related links and resources.


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