COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It has been declared a global pandemic. The COVID-19 virus is closely related to a bat coronavirus.
How is the virus spread?
The virus can spread from person to person through:
- close contact with an infectious person (including in the 48 hours before they had symptoms)
- contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
- touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face
COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no existing immunity in our community. This means that COVID-19 could spread widely and quickly.
Most COVID-19 cases appear to be spread from people who have symptoms. A small number of people may have been infectious before their symptoms developed.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- fever (37.5 ° or higher)
- sore throat
- shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- loss of taste
- loss of smell.
Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include fatigue, runny nose, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.
The time between when a person is exposed to the virus and when symptoms first appear is typically 5 to 6 days, although may range from 2 to 14 days. For this reason, people who might have been in contact with a confirmed case are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
How do I know if I have COVID-19?
Infection with COVID-19 is diagnosed by finding evidence of the virus in respiratory samples such as swabs from the back of the nose and throat or fluid from the lungs. Samples for testing can be taken directly by GPs, some private pathology collection centres, at your local COVID-19 testing or drive through clinic, or at public hospitals across NSW. For people not able to attend any of these, a self collect test is available through Histopath.
Refer to COVID-19 clinics for locations of NSW Health COVID-19 clinics.
Stay Safe when Travelling
- Download the COVIDSafe App: The COVIDSafe app speeds up contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps us support and protect you, your friends and family. Please read the content on this page before downloading.
- Symptoms: If you develop any of the symptoms highlighted above; react NOW and visit a COVID clinic.
- Protect yourself: Always practice safe handwashing; carry hand sanitizer, sneeze into your elbow and ensure you keep 1.5m distance from people as you travel.