What is COVID-19?

Aussie Communities Australia

COVID-19 is a disease which was previously named Coronavirus. Coronavirus or COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans.


The virus causes respiratory illness like the flu, with symptoms such as:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing

In more severe cases, COVID-19 causes pneumonia.

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames air sacs in one or both lungs, which may fill with fluid. When coronavirus develops to pneumonia, the air sacs may fill with fluid or pus. The infection can be life-threatening to anyone, but particularly to infants, children and people over 65.

You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.


If you have mild symptoms, stay at home until you’ve recovered. You can relieve your symptoms if you:

  • Rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough

Prevention & Cure

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

You can reduce your risk of infection if you:

Clean hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow.

Avoid close contact (1 metre or 3 feet) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). People may need supportive care to help them breathe.

How It Spreads

The new coronavirus spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.


  • Australian Department of Health
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)


For more information and updates contact the health authorities in your current country